Parliament – Communications Minister Faith Muthambi on Monday threw her weight behind a decision by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to place a ban on airing footage of violent protests.
“We unequivocally condemn the destruction of public and private infrastructure. It is our belief that the decision by the public broadcaster not to show footage of people burning public institutions, such as schools and libraries, in any of its news bulletins, will go a long way to discourage attention-seeking anarchists,” Muthambi said in a statement.
She added the department respected the editorial independence of the public broadcaster and described the ban as positive because the SABC had a mandate to ensure “nation building and the promotion of social cohesion”.
“I believe the decision not to air footage of burning public institutions was taken in the spirit of social cohesion and Nation Building, not censorship as purported,” said Muthambi.
Since the announcement by the SABC last week, media houses and opposition parties have slammed the SABC for its decision.
The South African National Editors Forum said the decision amounted to censorship and should be condemned.