(File image) The SABC headquarters, with a Sentech tower in the background, at Auckland Park in Johannesburg. Photo: Cara Viereckl

 A scheduled discussion on MetroFM about the ANC national elective conference was cancelled because the party was not invited to participate, the SABC said on Wednesday.

“In this case, you know the issue was the discussion about the ANC. Our view is simple: you need the ANC to be part of that discussion. We are not banning anyone,” said SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Several political editors were scheduled to appear on MetroFM at 8pm on Tuesday with host Sakina Kamwendo, but the interviews were cancelled at the last minute.

Group radio executive Leslie Ntloko said management was given the list of the participants late.

When it learned the ANC was not participating, the plug was pulled.

Ntloko cited SABC rules which required that when an issue involved an event of national importance involving a political party, that party had to be invited to participate.

“I think that decision (to cancel) was made in view of the fact that some of these things I have just mentioned were not followed.”

Motsoeneng and Ntloko were briefing reporters at SABC headquarters in Auckland Park.

The Times newspaper reported that Sunday Times political editor S'thembiso Msomi, Business Day political editor Sam Mkokeli and Financial Times Southern African bureau chief Andrew England were already at the SABC's studios when the discussion was cancelled. - Sapa