DA considers taking SABC to court over ban of protest footage

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The DA is mulling taking legal action against the SABC following its decision to ban the airing of footage showing violent public protest action, the party has announced.

The public broadcaster’s COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, announced in a statement late Thursday afternoon that, effective immediately, the SABC will no longer show footage of people burning public institutions like schools in an effort to not promote this kind of behaviour. (See his full statement at the bottom of this article.)

DA spokesperson, Phumzile van Damme claims that the reason Motsoeneng has the green light to make this decision is as a result of the new SABC editorial policy allegedly approved in secret by Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, and the SABC board in February this year.

“The policy gives total control of all the SABC’s programming and news content to the SABC COO who is also a political appointee,” van Damme said.

“It is clear that Mr Motsoeneng is using the Editorial Policy to deliver on the task to fully turn the SABC into a propaganda portal for his political masters at Luthuli House [the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg],” she adds.

Ms van Damme called the move censorship, adding that the public broadcaster has a responsibility to provide news and public affairs programming which meet the highest standards of journalism, in a fair, impartial and unbiased manner, according to the Broadcasting Act.

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[Source – DA, image – CC Wikimedia Commons]