SABC reneges on agreement to cover DA Congress live - James Selfe

DA CFE says it is manifestly in the public interest that such coverage be provided

SABC reneges on agreement to cover DA Congress live

07 May 2014

The Democratic Alliance learnt yesterday of the intention of the SABC to renege on its commitment to cover the DA Federal Congress in Nelson Mandela Bay, live on terrestrial television.

We have this afternoon had a telephonic discussion with SABC Head of News, Jimi Matthews, and have attempted to telephone the SABC’s Mr. Hlaudi Motsoeneng. At this stage, the SABC is unwavering in their decision against agreements for live coverage.

It is manifestly in the public interest that a national elective congress of the Official Opposition in South Africa, representing over 4 million votes, receives coverage on the National Broadcaster.

Both the public interest, and the SABC’s own editorial policy demand that this congress be broadcast to all South Africans, on the National Broadcaster.

The SABC has unfailingly covered major national events of the ANC, including most recently, hours of uninterrupted coverage for the ANC January 8th event in Cape Town this year, and the ANC’s Mangaung Conference in 2012, for four days of non-stop live crossings, extended Morning Live segments and specially commissioned programs titled “Dateline Mangaung”.

Should the SABC not reconsider this about-turn on live coverage for this DA Federal Congress, by 6pm tonight, the DA will take steps against the SABC which may include approaching the High Court to review their decision.

Statement issued by James Selfe, DA Federal Executive Chairperson, May 7 2015