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SABC Shapiro ‘censorship’ bemoaned

Johannesburg - The IFP on Thursday bemoaned the reported scrapping of an SABC television interview with cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro.

“South Africans should have a public broadcaster not a state broadcaster,” Inkatha Freedom Party spokeswoman Liezl van der Merwe said.

Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, better known as Zapiro. File photo by Jeffrey Abrahams. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

The politicisation of the SABC was concerning.

“The irregularities in editorial practice and policies in the SABC are glaring,” she said.

The Times reported that the SABC had decided not to air the interview with Shapiro, better known as Zapiro.

Zapiro said the pre-recorded show was not aired following “orders from above”.

“Even in the interview it felt like I was being pushed into having to say something positive about the president,” he was quoted as saying.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago told The Times he did not know the reasons behind the decision to cancel the Interface interview.

The IFP hoped the Independent Communications Authority of SA would investigate.

It noted the “conspicuous silence” from Communications Minister Dina Pule.

“While the SABC suffers one scandal after the next we have heard no clear indication from the minister of what she intends to do to ensure that the SABC regains its credibility.”

In October, Zuma withdrew a damages claim against Zapiro for a cartoon depicting him unbuckling his trousers as his allies hold down “Lady Justice”.

Last week, a radio talk show where three journalists would have discussed the ANC's Mangaung conference was cancelled.

The SABC said there should have been ANC delegates present to ensure the show was balanced.

Earlier this week, The Times reported on a letter purportedly written by SABC reporters, producers and presenters accusing the broadcaster of political interference. The workers claimed to have been “taken to task” for not giving adequate coverage to President Jacob Zuma.

The SABC announced this week it would centralise control of talk shows at its radio stations. - Sapa

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