The saga concerning SABC’s alleged banning of a DA Municipal Elections ad continues with the broadcaster recently accusing the party of not giving it time to respond to complaints.
This is according to an explanatory affidavit written by Ngoka Monyela, Manager of Policy and Regulatory Affairs at the SABC, which was submitted to the DA yesterday by the broadcasters lawyers.
The affidavit states that the DA took steps to secure ad space on 19th May and was then told on 26th May by SABC airtime Manager, Yasim Mohammed, that no slots would be allocated until the SABC had received the go ahead from Icasa or the IEC to air political party ads.
The process is apparently set to begin in the middle of this month.
Monyela added that the DA then sent a complaint about the matter to acting SABC CEO, Jimi Matthews, on 26th May demanding the broadcaster confirmation that its ad would be aired at 6pm the same day.
Thereafter, the correspondence between Matthews and the DA went like this:
Monyela said the DA responded to the acting CEO, stating that its rights were being prejudiced and they would be lodging a complaint with Icasa by Monday, 30th May.
Added to this, the SABC said the DA did not attach proof that it has been registered for the Municipal Elections, which is a requirement for all parties wanting to air their ads.
Monyela ended off by saying the SABC denies that it refused to process the DA’s bookings for political advertisement.
The DA however, has said the affidavit shows a new desperation by the SABC to delay its ad.
“The SABC has argued that they have to wait to confirm that we are a registered political party and have submitted our lists. This is a joke,” said DA spokesperson, Phumzile van Damme.
“The regulations are clear, as admitted by Icasa on SAfm today, that political parties are allowed to buy airtime to flight their adverts as soon as the election date is proclaimed. Quite bizarrely, their contradictory affidavit proceeded to reference this very regulation,” she said.
van Damme said the party will not be deterred by what it calls “undemocratic conduct” and will do everything possible to ensure the ad is aired.[Source – DA, image – YouTube]