NEWS & ANALYSIS

Zikalala was like Goebbels - NUMSA

Castro Ngobese says former SABC news Tsar poisoned the minds of South Africans

NUMSA STATEMENT ON THE COURT RULING ON SABC BLACKLISTING OF POLITICAL COMMENTATORS BY SNUKI ZIKALALA

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) notes the contemptuous judgment that was meted by Judge CJ Claassen, at the North Gauteng Court, pertaining to the manipulation and twisting of news by former SABC Head of News and Current Affairs Dr Snuki Zikalala.

This judgment confirms our long held view that Dr Zikalala was using the SABC News and Current Affairs as spewing machinery to advance certain sectarian political agendas for varying factional interests within and outside the ANC (ANC) pre-Polokwane 52nd National Conference. The actions by Dr Zikalala we were a ghost resurrection of Nazi Germany propagandist Joseph Goebbels to poison the minds of South Africans and to silence dissent in the public discourse. The working class formations, particularly our federation - COSATU - its Affiliates, including the SACP suffered the wreath of Dr Zikalala. The fundamental issues that were raised by either COSATU or the SACP deemed critical of the 1996 class project were thrown out of the news.

This judgment by Judge Claassen is a victory for the working class and the public in our ongoing efforts of making the SABC a truly public and independent broadcaster that serves the interests of all South Africans. The judgment should serve as a locomotive in burying the manipulation and abuse of the SABC News and Current Affairs to advance sectarian and factional political interests.

We call on the SABC and the Board to publicly release its own inquiry report that was chaired by Zwelakhe Sisulu and detail its plans or measures in dealing with such manipulation of news division. History tends to repeat itself, first as tragedy and then as a farce.

As Numsa, through COSATU we will continue to work with other civil society formations to radically transform the SABC, including its news division to relate with the daily realities of our working people and ordinary South Africans. The judgment also poses a challenge to ICASA to play its legislative role by monitoring where broadcasting institutions are not complying with the license conditions.

Statement issued by Castro Ngobese, NUMSA National Spokesperson, January 26 2011

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