SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng

The DA will lodge a formal complaint with the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) about the SABC’s refusal, once again, to air the DA’s election adverts, the party said on Sunday.

The SABC had informed the DA that it had no available slots for political adverts at this time due to delays in the Electoral Commission of SA’s (IEC) work with respect to the elections, DA national spokeswoman Phumzile van Damme said.

“This is nothing but a poor excuse by the SABC in order to censor the DA’s political advertisements as has become standard during election time,” she said.

“The DA and indeed all political parties are well within their rights to air party political advertisements at this time as the election date has been proclaimed.”

In terms of Icasa municipal election regulations, political parties were allowed to broadcast political adverts during the election period.

The election period was defined in the regulations as “the period commencing with the date on which the election day is proclaimed“.

The election was proclaimed by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen on May 23, meaning that in terms of the law South Africa was in election period and political parties were allowed to have their political advertisements broadcast, Van Damme said.

“The commencement of the election period and the right of political parties to air their advertisments has been acknowledged by all other television and radio stations.

“The DA’s advertisments will begin airing tomorrow (Monday). The SABC is the only broadcaster that refuses to air the DA’s adverts.

“Accordingly, the DA will be lodging a formal complaint with Icasa to stave off the SABC’s attempt to abuse its power by attempting to censor the DA and protect the ANC from criticism.

“This is just the latest example in a string of cases that patently illustrate how our public broadcaster has been hijacked. The DA will not stand idly by while the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression is assaulted.

“South Africans will see through this thinly veiled ploy not to show the DA’s offer, which hinges on stopping corruption, creates jobs, and delivering better services for all,” Van Damme said.

The ad is also available on the link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgLFZPDPoYw&feature=youtu.be

– African News Agency (ANA)