DA reports ANC to PP for political interference at the SABC - Phumzile Van Damme

Party says decision to summon broadcaster board to Luthuli House and not Parliament shows just how much it has been captured by the ruling party

DA reports ANC to Public Protector for political interference at the SABC 

7 July 2016

The DA will today report political interference at the SABC by the ANC to the Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, for investigation.

This follows former SABC acting CEO, Jimmy Matthews’ confirmation - during an exclusive interview - that there was deliberate intervention in the editorial decisions regarding coverage for opposition political parties. 

This, we believe, is at the behest of the ANC, to undermine their opponents – given the increasing pressure that they face at the polls.

Through Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the ANC has effectively captured the SABC. 

The decision to summon the SABC board to Luthuli House, and not Parliament, to account for the chaos at the public broadcaster, is evident just how much it has been captured by the ANC. 

In terms of the Public Protector Act, the Public Protector is empowered to investigate “abuse or unjustifiable exercise of power or unfair, capricious, discourteous, or other improper conduct or undue delay by a person performing a public function”.

South Africans must not be fooled by the ANC’s recent flip flop on media censorship. They have continuously backed and supported Mr Motsoeneng. They remained silent when the DA pursued our court action to have him removed. Their Spokesperson and Minister condemned those protesting SABC censorship. They allowed their Youth League to declare “Hands off Hlaudi, Hands off”. And most recently, a senior member of Jacob Zuma’s Premier League, North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, backed Mr Motsoeneng.

The truth is that the ANC is now playing to the gallery because they are under pressure during this election and face losing a number of metros. Their summoning of the board is not only problematic and extra-parliamentary, but really just an ala-Nkandla-report attempt to look as though they are doing something, without bringing any real change.

The DA hopes that the Public Protector will conduct this investigation on the basis of the very serious information revealed by Mr Matthews. We cannot allow for such a critical institution to remain captured by Jacob Zuma’s cronies, there only to serve their masters, and not the South African people.

Issued by Phumzile Van Damme, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, 7 July 2016