Johannesburg - IFP has accused the SABC of delaying its Siyanqoba rally in Ulundi, Zululand, as the public broadcaster has prioritised airing the live ANC rally in Johannesburg addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
IFP spokesperson Liezl van der Merwe said initial arrangement was that the IFP’s final push rally would be broadcast live from 1pm. After negotiations with the public broadcaster to start the rally an hour later, which also did not happen, the SABC later told the party that it can only accommodate it 3pm after Ramaphosa’s speech in Ellis Park Stadium and later EFF’s rally in Orlando Stadium.
IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi had to wait for an hour while listening to live music at the Prince Mangosuthu Stadium, in Ulundi, to be accommodated by the SABC.
Van der Merwe said in the lead up to the IFP’s closing rally the party had written to the SABC to request a live broadcast at 12 noon or 1pm.
“They then indicated to us that other parties such as the ANC had requested a live broadcast, then we indicated that we can start at 2pm.
“We have just been informed that Mr Ramaphosa started his speech very late, and in fact he is still speaking right now (at about 2 pm).
“From there (Ellis Park) the SABC still has to go to the EFF’s rally we now have to start our rally at about 3 pm.
“The president is here and ready but has to wait for Mr Ramaphosa for reasons unknown to us as we now have to be pushed back to 3 pm,” she said.
She said the party was outraged at the delay of its event.
“The IFP is the fourth largest political party in this country, and ideally if Mr Ramaphosa did not stick to his starting time the SABC should have not taken him live.
“We are not happy with the arrangement,” said van der Merwe.
She said the SABC had also led the IFP down during its manifesto launch in Chatsworth, which was supposed to go live on SABC2.
“Eventually they only broadcasted our speech on 404, and they did not take the feed live on SABC 2 and they only promised to do so on the following week,” she said.
The IFP had preferred the SABC 2 broadcast since it was accessible to potential voters who do not have DSTV.
“Today we have communicated with our ranks and files that our speech today will be live on SABC 2 and at 404 at 2pm and now and that they would watch it,” she said.
She said the delay today had disrupted IFP arrangement to campaign around Ulundi and surroundings after the rally.
She said Buthelezi had to understand and succumb “although it is not fair”.
“Remember we had commitment for 2pm so he arrived right on time at 1 pm. Unfortunately it is a situation where he had to sit and wait for the SABC for the entire hour,” she said.