NEWS & ANALYSIS

SABC nails its flag to ANC’s mast - Phumzile Van Damme

DA MP says the broadcaster has rejected request to air Mmusi Maimane's counter-statement on EWC

The SABC firmly nails its flag to the ANC’s mast

Yesterday evening the DA received confirmation from the SABC’s Group Executive: News and Current Affairs, Phathiswa Magopeni that the public broadcaster will not be airing DA Leader Mmusi Maimane’s statement on the economy and land expropriation without compensation.

This was the new SABC management and board’s first opportunity to truly display its independence, and it has failed miserably and balked to Luthuli House by denying opposition parties airtime as is required by s31(1) of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) Code of Conduct.

In her letter to the DA Ms Magopeni states that since the DA had reported the matter to the BCCSA its obligations in terms of s13(1) are rendered moot.

This is disingenuous. The DA reporting the matter to the BCCSA, did not in any way absolve the SABC from fulfilling its obligation in terms of the Code of Conduct. It had the opportunity to act in good faith, and resolve the matter by giving the DA, and indeed, other political parties represented in Parliament, the opportunity to state its views like it did for the President of the ANC.

Instead it has chosen the Hlaudi Motsoeneng-esque route of engaging in litigation at the BCCSA, an Independent Judicial Tribunal, no doubt spending money on lawyers that it could have otherwise used to pay the producers it owes money.

The DA has written its response, to the BCCSA and requested that it make a ruling.

We trust that the BCCSA will rule in a manner that will set a precedent for broadcasters that willingly disobey its Code of Conduct.

Statement issued by Phumzile Van Damme, DA Shadow Minister of Communication, 9 August 2018