Settlement with Radio 786 reached 16 years on - SAJBD

Board says IUC has recognised that material aired could be viewed as antisemitic and nonsensical

Radio 786 Settlement reached after 16 years of legal battles: Joint Statement

On 8 May 1998, Radio 786, a Muslim community radio station operated by The Islamic Unity Convention (IUC), broadcast a programme which featured extensive anti-Jewish, recycled conspiracy fantasies and Holocaust denial.  The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) lodged a complaint against the IUC with the then Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), contending that it amounts to hate-speech.

Antisemitic claims made in the broadcast were that Jews were the secret, conspiratorial engine behind catastrophic world events such as the First and Second World War, and Communist revolutions; that they stole natural resources from countries such as South Africa; controlled world banking for their own benefit; and invented the Holocaust to invoke sympathy to among other things, facilitate the creation of the State of Israel.   

Following convoluted legal tussles that took place around the constitutionality of the relevant sections of the Broadcasting Code of Conduct, the SAJBD and the IUC squared up at a hearing in December 2012, held under ICASA's Complaints and Compliance Committee.  

Yesterday evening a settlement was reached in which the IUC recognised that the material aired on Radio 786 could be viewed as antisemitic and nonsensical.   The SAJBD welcomes this acknowledgment by the IUC.  

In reality, 16 years of complex legal wrangling, which reached the Constitutional Court twice, could have been avoided had this acknowledgement been made by the IUC right at the outset.

That being said, the SAJBD is satisfied with the outcome which has vindicated its decision to confront and expose what was a very hateful and defamatory attack on the Jewish people.  

Below is the Joint Statement by the SAJBD and IUC.  For more information, please contact Mary Kluk on 083 775 8618 or Tzvi Brivik on 082 77 88844


Sixteen years ago, Radio 786 aired a radio show that featured Dr Yakub Zaki as a guest speaker.

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBOD) Radio 786 contends that the broadcast amounts to advocacy of hatred based on race that constitutes incitement to cause harm ("hate speech") and accordingly that it constitutes a breach of the applicable code of conduct for broadcasters.

Whilst recognising that some Dr Zaki's comments may have been viewed as nonsensical, and anti-Semitic, Radio 786 maintains that the broadcast does not amount to advocacy of hatred based on race or that it constitutes incitement to cause harm and accordingly does not constitute a breach of the applicable code of conduct for broadcasters. 

For the past sixteen years, both Radio 786 and the SAJBOD have fought to vindicate their positions and beliefs.

In the spirit of Ubuntu and in the hope that South Africa and all its people and communities will grow as a result of this experience, both sides have agreed to close this chapter by this settlement.

Radio 786 recognises that the broadcast caused offence and distress to members of the South African Jewish community.  SAJBOD, on the other hand, recognises that there was no intention of Radio 786 to cause any such offence or distress.

Both parties reaffirm their commitment to freedom of speech and a pluralistic society in which the dignity and equality of all are respected and protected.

Dated at CAPE TOWN this 31st day of MARCH 2014.



Chairperson of SAJBOD Cape Council

(duly authorised by SAJBOD)



Secretary of the IUC

(duly authorised by the IUC)

Statement issued by Charisse Zeifert, Head: Communications, South African Jewish Board of Deputies, April 1 2014

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