Parliamentary briefing on SABC’s censorship needed – Phumzile Van Damme

Party says ANC has attempted to have show cancelled for years and finally succeeded with Hlaudi at the helm

We need a full parliamentary briefing on the SABC’s unabating censorship 

7 June 2016

Censorship at the SABC ahead of the Local Government Election has reached crisis proportions. 

Yesterday night, the Spokesperson of the SABC, Kaizer Kganyago confirmed that “the Editors” has indeed been canned.

The DA will be calling on the Portfolio Committee on Communications to return to Parliament in order to be fully briefed by the SABC’s management on the rampant censorship at the public broadcaster ahead of this year's election. This is provided for in National Assembly (NA) Rule 223.

“The Editors” is a very popular programme on SAFM on Sundaymornings where the political events of the week are critically analysed, debated and discussed by newspaper journalists and editors.

The programme has been a bone of contention for the ANC for many years as its poor record as a governing party is often discussed. 

Though the years the ANC has attempted to have the show canned, and failed. 

Now that Hlaudi Motsoeneng is at the helm at the SABC, the ANC has succeeded in doing so. 

The canning of “The Editors" is just the latest in a string of incidents of censorship of views critical of the ANC government.

Since the beginning of the year, Hlaudi Motsoeneng has overseen: 

- The attempted banning of call-ins;

- The canning of Vuyo Mvoko’s talk show;

- Banning of footage of violent protests;

- Censorship of DA adverts.

If the ANC is serious about ensuring that this year’s election is indeed free and fair, and that the SABC provides fair and truthful coverage of the election, it will encourage its members of the Communications Portfolio committee to return to Parliament for this important briefing.

Anything less, would confirm the view that the ANC is indeed running scared and using state resources in order to claw back on its shrinking voting base.

Issued by Phumzile Van Damme, DA Shadow Minister of Communication, 7 June 2016