You defy ICASA ruling at your own peril, Mantashe warns SABC

We hope the SABC will realise that to defy everybody doesn’t make them a better public broadcaster,'says ANC secretary general

You defy Icasa ruling at your own peril, Mantashe warns SABC

12 July 2016

Johannesburg - ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has warned the SABC not to ignore the Independent Communications Authority of SA’s ruling, because "if you defy the decision of [a Chapter 9] institution, you will learn hard".

Mantashe chuckled as he said this, but did not refer to the Constitutional Court ruling on President Jacob Zuma’s failure to comply with a Public Protector report on Nkandla.

Addressing journalists in Luthuli House on Tuesday, following an ANC national working committee the day before, Mantashe hit out at SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, without mentioning his name, saying that defiance didn’t make the public broadcaster better.

"The SABC remaining defiant, you know this term defiance, [getting] self-satisfaction in defiance…

"Actually, when you do that you cut your nose to spite your own face, because you come back to realise much later that what you are proud of... displaying your power in defiance, is actually destroying the institution and you as an individual.

"Our view is that we are hoping the people in the SABC will realise that to defy everybody in society doesn’t make them a better public broadcaster.

"It is when they try to listen to what the public view is that makes them a better public broadcaster, and therefore being proud of being described as defiant and being a public broadcaster is a contradction in terms."

Mantashe also denied that Communications Minister Faith Muthambi had "defied" the party by not attending a meeting of the party’s national working committee.

He said Muthambi had merely failed to attend the meeting the day before, even though her attendance was required.

“That did not stop the committee from doing its work,” he said.

Mantashe said Tshwane mayoral candidate, Thoko Didiza, and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi also sat on the committee but failed to attend, but that didn’t make them defiant.

Mantashe repeated that the ANC was opposed to censorship and supported media workers’ rights in its policy documents, which were drafted in 1992 and reaffirmed at congresses throughout the years.

Motsoeneng at a press conference on Monday said the SABC would challenged ICASA’s ruling that its policy to censor footage of violent protests was incorrect.

This article first appeared on News24, see here