Johannesburg - The exposure in court of political manipulation by the SABC in favour of the African National Congress in 2006 was welcomed by the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) on Wednesday.

“Sanef welcomes this searing exposure of the dishonesty of (Snuki) Zikalala, (Dali) Mpofu and the official SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago as a vindication of the complaint of the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI),” said Sanef media freedom committee chairperson Thabo Leshilo in a statement.

The FXI requested the review of a dismissal of complaints by Icasa regarding the SABC blacklisting certain political commentators as well as news manipulation.

The then SABC CEO, Dali Mpofu, appointed a commission of inquiry into blacklisting allegations. The inquiry findings were never released.

A high court ruling ordered the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to pay the costs of the FXI application and to relaunch a probe into the institute's complaints.

Leshilo said that the vindication of persecuted staffers at the SABC was just as important as the court ruling.

SABC radio news head Pippa Green had, despite threats, complained to Zikalala over what was going on and radio presenter John Perlman exposed the blacklisting of commentators.

“Sanef looks forward to Icasa's complaints and compliance committee carrying out the court order by delving even more deeply into the conduct of the violators of journalistic and broadcasting standards and ethics,” Leshilo said. - Sapa