Johannesburg - Civil society organisation AfriForum has lashed out at the national broadcaster for banning its advert calling for support of its Supreme Court of Appeal challenge against the Equality Court’s finding that the EFF’s singing of Kill the Boer was not hate speech.
With the court date for Malema and the EFF to return to the Supreme Court of Appeal on Monday, September 4, the organisation launched a campaign calling for the public to support its court challenge by donating R10.
However, the organisation said the radio advertisement had been banned by the SABC.
AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel described the SABC’s ban as gross censorship that ridiculed the public broadcaster’s claims that it was impartial and against divisive statements.
“The SABC has now positioned themselves firmly behind Julius Malema, the EFF, and this party’s divisive use of the ‘Kill the Boer’ phrase by trying to silence those, like AfriForum, who are promoting mutual respect by opposing polarisation.”
Kriel said it was shocking that the broadcaster was willing to reject an income from an AfriForum advertisement just to serve its own ideological biases. He further alleged that the broadcaster had argued that a sub judice rule prohibited it from broadcasting an advertisement at this point because the case had not yet been
heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal.
In addition, he claimed another excuse that the SABC used was that the EFF should have the right to reply to give their side of the case regarding the advertisement.
“The SABC’s impartiality, as shown by banning AfriForum’s advertisement, is exactly one of the reasons why so many people stopped paying their TV licences.”
Kriel added: “The SABC is underestimating the intelligence of its listeners and viewers if it thinks that the public will fall for an excuse that there should be a right of reply to a paid advertisement. If a bank wants to advertise on the SABC, should other banks now have the right to react to their advert?”
AfriForum said despite this setback, it would continue to mobilise the public against the EFF’s polarisation by broadcasting the “banned” advertisement on other radio stations.
The civil rights organisation is challenging the Equality Court’s outcome after it lost its court bid, which acquitted Malema of hate speech for singing the song.
SABC acting spokesperson, Mmoni Seapolelo, confirmed that it had advised the civil organisation to edit its submitted advert as, in its current form, it did not conform to the broadcaster’s editorial policies.
“Furthermore, the SABC has editorial discretion when it comes to programme schedule, and this includes the right to edit all content prior to broadcasting it. The SABC has been engaged by AfriForum on this matter and will continue to engage with the organisation accordingly,” added Seapolelo.
For its part, the EFF’s Sinawo Thambo said the party was solely focused on its election campaign moving forward and that it had no interest in the fundraising stunts of racists.