Johannesburg - The SABC banned broadcasts of the booing of President Jacob Zuma at the memorial for Nelson Mandela, the City Press Newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The newspaper said that it learnt from six independent sources at the public broadcaster’s news division that instruction was given to ban broadcasts of the booing.
The sources, including field reporters, producers and technical crew did not wish to be named as they do not want to jeopardise their jobs.
The booing of the crowd, as Zuma arrived at the FNB Stadium and as his image was displayed on the big screen could be seen by viewers as the SABC broadcast the memorial on live television on Tuesday.
The sources alleged that the broadcaster's national television news editor Nyana Molete ordered that the booing bits be cut away. The reaction, apparently, was determined by an earlier meeting that ruled that anything that could possibly embarrass the ANC leadership should be avoided.
The newspaper also reported that two separate sources confirmed that SABC radio reporters in the field received instructions to not comment on or cover the crowd’s booing.
Another source told City Press that staff preparing the evening’s news bulletins received instructions that the booing incidents would not be included and that booing should not be referred to as “unruly behaviour” by the crowd.
City Press added that eNCA and international TV news broadcasters led their bulletins with the booing Zuma incident, whilst the SABC and its 24-hour news channel only made passing mentions of the incident.
The SABC could not be reached for comment on the allegations.