Late last month, SABC Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng announced that the public broadcaster would implement an effective ban on the showing of protests around the country, as he reasoned that violent footage might inspire others to do the same.
During an interview with Jacaranda FM, Motsoeneng was pushed for answers by host Rian van Heerden over how the SABC came to the conclusion that airing violent footage encourages violent behaviour.
Van Heerden asked whether the SABC used a scientific research company to conduct an investigation on the topic before implementing the ban – to which Motsoeneng replied it didn’t.
“You don’t need a company. I have my own views about it…” he said in a rather heated exchange with van Heerden. He prefaced the statement by saying the research that they have done in the past was “going to the people.”
Motsoeneng told van Heerden that he (van Heerden) also has his own views on things, like his belief in scientific research, to which Motsoeneng added “I don’t believe in scientific research. That is your right. I believe in practicality.”
Below you can listen to the entire interview, but we have to warn you: you may end up with a headache from smacking your palm into your forehead as often as we did.
The file will play from the beginning of the interview, but if you want to skip to the part about scientific research, it can be found around the 15:30 mark.
At the start of this month, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) lodged a formal complaint with Icasa over the SABC’s ban on violent protest footage across its news and current affairs bulletins.
“We believe the decision to be unlawful and in clear violation of the Broadcasting Act, the SABC’s licence conditions and the SABC’s revised editorial policies,” William Bird, Director of MMA said in a statement.
“The SABC seems dead set against the possibility of changing their mind, which is why we have opted to go the route of a legal challenge to the Complaints Compliance Committee,” he said.[Image – SABC]