Parliament is ignoring the SABC crisis: CASAC
The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly requesting that an urgent meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Communications be convened to deal with the crisis at the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
According to a statement realeased by CASAC the Speaker has not responded to the letter.
“The SABC has since announced that it will not abide by the ruling of its constitutionally established regulator, ICASA, to reverse its decision regarding the censorship of the news in relation to protest action. It has now also summarily dismissed eight journalists, ignoring any pretence at due process. This is a blatant act of intimidation of other journalists at the SABC, creating an atmosphere of fear, and undermining any prospect of the SABC meeting its constitutional, legislative and license obligations,” CASAC’s statement says.
CASAC goes on to say that with the local government elections looming, the SABC has a duty “to provide equitable access to all political parties and to report objectively on news issues, the position taken by the national legislature is regrettable.
“Parliament is once again failing to exercise its constitutional responsibilities to hold the Executive and the SABC Board to account. The rebuke the National Assembly recently received from the Constitutional Court ruling in the Nkandla matter appears to have fallen on deaf ears.”
CASAC has called on the National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, “to ensure that the National Assembly executes its constitutional mandate. Parliament must act urgently to remind the Minister of Communication and the SABC Board to respect the Constitution and the law, and facilitate an environment in which free and fair elections can be held on 3 August 2016.”
IOL, adapted from a press release