DOCUMENTS

SABC keeping us off television - DA

Gareth van Onselen queries why Zille's education speech was not covered

SABC acts to keep the DA off television

The Democratic Alliance (DA) today launched a national education campaign in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria. An hour before the event, SABC TV pulled its cameras off the launch, refusing to give an explanation for why, and despite confirming that they would be in attendance a few days prior. Indeed they confirmed they would be there the night before.

Every other media outlet in the country was present at the launch to cover primarily the speech by DA Leader Helen Zille. Even SABC Radio was in attendance. It is indisputable that this event constituted significant news.

The DA tried to contact four or five key individuals at the SABC and none of them were able or willing to provide an explanation for why the cameras were pulled.

The public broadcaster's refusal to provide any explanation for why it withdrew its cameras suggests that it has an ulterior motive, and not one that has to do with accurately, objectively and fairly reporting the news to the South African public.

We will be taking the matter up with the head of news, Paul Molefe and look forward to the SABC's explanation.

Statement issued by Gareth van Onselen, Democratic Alliance executive director of communication, February 20 2010

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