SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has lashed out at critics over what he calls ‘noise’ about policy decisions and transformation the public broadcaster.

His comments came at the end of a rather prolonged back and forth between the Committee, a delegation from the SABC that included Motsoeneng and new CEO James Aguma, and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.

Muthamibi, the SABC board and Icasa were in Cape Town to answer questions concerning recent incidents at the public broadcaster, which included the sacking of several journalists and the decision not broadcast violent protest footage on SABC channels.

Motsoeneng said during the proceedings that the SABC was “unapologetic” about its recent decisions and defended the broadcaster’s policy on protest footage. He was also rather dismissive of the SABC’s critics in general.

“I ask myself, why do people obsess about the SABC? What is their interest? They shouldn’t be,” he said. “I don’t need to account to the them if they don’t give the SABC any money.”

Motsoeneng’s views on the decision to ban protest footage were echoed by Communications Minister Muthambi, who said the policy was in line with the constitution, which draws a line between freedom of expression and incitement of violence.

“The corporation is encouraged to ensure the development of freedom of expression by providing a wide range of programming that reflects opinions, ideas and values,” Muthambi said. “But in line with the public broadcasting mandate the corporation also has a role to ensure it contributes towards nation-building and cohesion.”

“Freedom of expression doesn’t extend to the propaganda of war,” she said.

[Source: Fin24]