ANC needs to stop the rot at SABC: R2K

By African News Agency Time of article published Jul 15, 2016

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Johannesburg - Civil right groups the Right2Know campaign and SOS Coalition on Friday afternoon held a protest outside the African National Congress's (ANC) headquarters Luthuli House demanding that the party take direct action about the alleged censorship at the SABC.

This comes after the SABC's (South African Broadcasting Corporation) editorial decision to not air images of destructive protests as the broadcaster believes they perpetuate violence in communities.

WATCH: Jackson Mthembu with R2K's Bongani @SaturdayStar #SABC pic.twitter.com/lpcaCbNqtD

— Masego Panyane (@sego_says) July 15, 2016

The SABC decision to censor violent protest footage was overruled by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) on Monday, and the public broadcaster was ordered to cancel its new editorial policy.

#SABC protest. Posters calling on the governing party to respect the Con Court . @SaturdayStar pic.twitter.com/OOkxjDpFPb

— Masego Panyane (@sego_says) July 15, 2016

The SABC's chief operations officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng, however, doesn't agree with the ICASA decision, and has said the public broadcaster will take the decision on review.

But the Right2know and the SOS Coalition said they believed that Motsoeneng's ban on visuals of violent protests was just “propaganda” created to favour certain individuals and political parties.

. @SaturdayStar protest to "save the soul of the SABC outside Luthuli House begins. pic.twitter.com/ETI85CuYVq

— Masego Panyane (@sego_says) July 15, 2016

“We would be naive to ignore the role of Luthuli House in the current crisis. The political interference in the broadcaster begins with factions of the ANC,” the coalition's national coordinator Sekoetlane Phamodi said.

“With Muthambi, who is beholden to Zuma, holding sway over the SABC executive and able to hire and fire them at will, and Hlaudi now having ultimate authority over editorial decision making at the SABC, there is a clear link between editorial control and the interest of the Zuma faction.”

Rights groups have been protesting outside the SABC for the past few weeks on the same issue. They decided to take the protest to the ANC as they believe the ruling party is divided and has not been speaking with one voice on the issue.

The Right2know said Motsoeneng should never have been made COO in the first place and it was imperative that he and his backers be stopped.

“If's the SABC's mandate to inform the public is compromised, then doubt will be cast over the legitimacy of the elections.”

African News Agency

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