ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe told the SABC that it needs to comply with the Icasa decision.
Mantashe’s announcement comes after the SABC’s COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng yesterday stated the broadcaster has no intention to heed the call by the Independent Communications Authority (Icasa) to change its policy on not showing violent protest footage.
“Icasa is a Chapter 9 institution, it has the authority to make certain decisions. If you defy those decisions, I can tell you that you will learn a hard lesson,” Mantashe said.
Mantashe added that the SABC will be the only loser if it chooses to ignore Icasa’s recommendation.
“Actually, when you do that you cut your nose to spite your own face, because you come back to realise much later that what you are proud of… displaying your power in defiance, is actually destroying the institution and you as an individual,” he said.
Mantashe went to say that just because the SABC was sticking to its guns, its stance did not make it better broadcaster. On the contrary, Mantashe said, if the SABC doesn’t listen to the people, it will make them a worse broadcaster.
“Our view is that we are hoping the people in the SABC will realise that to defy everybody in society doesn’t make them a better public broadcaster,” Mantashe said. “It is when they try to listen to what the public view is that makes them a better public broadcaster, and therefore being proud of being described as defiant and being a public broadcaster is a contradiction in terms.”
Yesterday, Motsoeneng stated flatly that the SABC is not going to change anything.
“We as SABC are not going to be influenced by people outside or internally. We will deal with the issues of the SABC as per the processes in the organisation,” Motsoeneng said. “No-one is going to tell us what to do within our organisation. And we as SABC, we are on track, we as the SABC are not apologetic on the issues that we believe on.”