Johannesburg - The SABC will air the DA's second “Ayisafani” TV advert as soon as a time slot becomes available, the public broadcaster said on Wednesday.
“We have made the decision to flight it and it will be flighted at a later stage,” SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago told Sapa.
He said the party had submitted the advert on Thursday and according to the broadcaster's advert regulations, it had five working days to decide on whether or not it would air the advert.
“The five working days rule lapses on Friday,” Kganyago said.
“We can start flighting it by Friday or after Friday. If there is a slot available from now, we will flight it.”
On Monday Kganyago had told Sapa that in terms of advertising regulations, an advert should be submitted 72 hours before it was expected to air. The Democratic Alliance had expected the advert to be aired from Tuesday.
On Wednesday he said that at the time he thought the DA's second advert was a political election broadcast (PEB).
“At the time I thought it was part of the PEBs but I have since found out that it is a paid-for advert, which is different.”
He said there were two types of advert which could be submitted by political parties which were handled differently.
The PEBs were flighted for free, in accordance with the Independent Communications Authority of SA's (Icasa's) regulations.
These adverts were allocated whichever time slot was available and the broadcaster was given 72 hours to evaluate the advert before deciding whether or not to flight it.
Advertisements that were paid for, on the other hand, were viewed like any other commercial advert, he said.
These adverts were submitted through an agency and specific time slots, which had different prices, were booked and paid for.
“(For) PEBs (parties) do not book slots with the SABC, all they do is submit their material.”
Kganyago said he was not sure where DA leader Helen Zille had received the information that her advert would be flighted at 9pm on Wednesday.
In a media briefing earlier, Zille said her party's advert was meant to be aired on Wednesday morning and that she had received a letter from the broadcaster's Fakir Hassen, which said the advert was not allowed to be aired.
She said the party would seek an urgent high court interdict on Thursday morning if the SABC did not flight its advert at 9pm.
“The next slot for the advert is tonight at 9pm on SABC2. The proof that it was banned is because it did not air on the slot this morning.”
Kganyago said this was untrue.
“We have never said that we were not going to flight it. I am challenging them to show us that letter. They are lying, Fakir has never written to the DA.”
He said time slots were never discussed with the party.
“We do not have an advert at nine o'clock. Their slots are in between the programmes. I don't know where they got that from.”
During the briefing, Zille said she had received a phone call from SABC's acting chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng saying the advert would be aired.
“We have verbal confirmation, but nothing in writing... Till then we will continue with our court application and steps to seek an urgent court interdict.”
It would be heard in the High Court in Pretoria.
The 45-second advert, which is on YouTube, starts with Maimane in front of a mirror, getting dressed in a grey suit and white shirt saying: “So, they tried to silence us, but this is actually what they're afraid of”, before opening double doors and segueing into the rest of the advert. It focused on job creation and the growth of the DA.
On Friday, a complaint by the SA Police Service regarding the first DA election advert that contains a photo of a police officer shooting rubber bullets was upheld by Icasa.
“The election period tends to bring about a lot of volatility. The police should not be seen as a threat to the community,” chairman of Icasa's complaints and compliance committee Wandile Tutani said at the time.
“The offending part of the advert (must) be excised. That is our decision.”
The police had submitted that it would incite violence against themselves.
The advert was first pulled by the SABC after it was flighted on April 8 and 9. The public broadcaster said it incited violence.