SABC deliberately blacking out our election campaign - EFF

Fighters says this undermines pubic mandate of national broadcaster

EFF condemns SABC’s deliberate blackout of EFF election campaign

13 September 2021

The Economic Freedom Fighters condemns the media black out by the clearly partisan South African Broadcasting Co-operation (SABC) which has resolved not to cover the EFF's election campaign. In a clear demonstration of bias by an entity that is meant to deliver news fairly across the political divide, the SABC led by its factional political editor, has decided to pack its cameras in the absence of an ANC elections campaign.

It is a disgusting act, which undermines the pubic mandate of the national broadcaster and has turned it into a mouth piece of the ruling party at the expense of our democracy. It is only the EFF that has begun its elections campaign in earnest, holding numerous community meetings across the country, yet this has not reflected on the national broadcasters television and radio platforms.

We caution the SABC to refrain from operating as political machinery of the ruling party. If the SABC has resolved to be a political actor during these elections then we will be left with no choice but to engage them as such in order to rescue the public broadcaster from capture.

Political parties must not suffer lack of coverage on SABC platforms because the ruling party is too preoccupied killing itself and rectifying its incompetence. The democratic order in South Africa and the rights to coverage of all political parties represented in legislatures does not depend on the activity of the ruling party.

The SABC must cover all political parties whose election campaign has begun, freely and fairly. Equal coverage of election campaigns is pivotal to a new democracy. The recent blackout reveals the SABC in its current state as fickle, dishonest and captured.

There is no rationale in the tired excuse that allocation is what restricted coverage of the EFF elections campaign which was comprised of community meetings, because there was no other political party that was engaged in any electoral activity that would amount to strain on the SABC's resources or allocated schedule for political parties.

We demand a dedicated team to be assigned to the EFF during this election period.

The SABC must simply desist from its partisan behaviour, failure which the EFF will be left with no choice but to wage massive protest action in defence of the independence of the SABC.

We will call for the removal of compromised individuals whose partisanship undermines the

role of the public broadcaster and exhaust all means necessary to rescue the entity.

Issued by Leigh-Ann Mathys, Elections Spokesperson, 13 September 2021