File photo: Independent Media
Rustenburg – The ANC in North West on Wednesday called on the SABC to speed up investigation into allegations that North West premier and ANC provincial chairperson Supra Mahumapelo influences the editorial policy of the public broadcaster.

"The African National Congress in Bokone Bophirima [North West] welcomes the decision taken by the Office of the Premier of Bokone Bophirima to temporarily suspend its working relations with the SABC North West, pending an investigation on the allegations of undue influence over the SABC in our province," said provincial secretary Dakota Legoete.

"We view the allegations in a serious manner because they border on disrespecting the freedom of the press and editorial independence, which are protected by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the Bill of Rights. These rights are some of the basic ones that the premier needs to uphold and protect as head of the executive in the province."

He called on South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) North West to speedily conduct an investigation on the allegations to allow closure to the matter for purposes of accountability.

"We reiterate our full confidence and support on our premier as the head of the executive in Bokone Bophirima provincial government," he said.

Supra Mahumapelo suspends ties with SABC

Mahumapelo suspended relations with the SABC in North West on Tuesday, following allegations that he had encroached on the public broadcaster’s editorial policy.

"The office of the premier has, as a result of these unfounded and fabricated claims, decided to suspend its working relations with the SABC, this to afford the corporation time to investigate these allegations," said provincial government spokesperson Brian Setswambung.

He said the decision to suspend the relations was to curb further encroachment accusations against the premier on the corporation’s editorial policy, whilst the investigation is being carried out.

Weekend newspapers reported that Mahumapelo dictated how news stories about him should be reported on SABC television or radio.