The SABC is likely to see itself in front of a legal board very soon if Icasa’s move to hold a public hearing over its banning of violent protest footage goes ahead.

Yesterday, the public broadcaster was supposed to submit an explanation for its decision to Icasa, after media lobby groups, led by Media Monitoring Afric (MMA), filed a complaint against what they termed censorship.

The groups held protests at three SABC offices, calling for the removal of COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The SABC asked for a deadline extension yesterday, stating that it hadn’t had time to file the response due to the Youth Day public holiday.

The extension was granted but only up until today, giving MMA and the other groups a day to respond before a public hearing is to be held on Friday.

“The complaint came last week Wednesday and we had only Friday to work on it because of the holiday on Thursday. So we requested an extension and it was granted,” said SABC spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago.

The public hearing will likely to determine whether or not the SABC’s decision infringes on any rights or broadcasting codes and acts.

“Hlaudi is affiliated with the ANC. Even though I cannot prove that in black and white but it does not take a rocket scientist to see. The decisions are taken just before elections. Where ever he goes he is surrounded by ANC bosses,” protesters said outside the Durban SABC offices yesterday.

[Source – Business Day Live]