DA won’t withdraw court action despite Icasa decision to hear SABC advert dispute

2014-04-15 13:50

Communications watchdog Icasa has referred the Democratic Alliance’s advertisement complaint case against the SABC to the Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC).

“Following engagement with the parties, Icasa [Independent Communications Authority of SA] decided to refer the matter to the CCC on an urgent basis for adjudication,” it said today.

“The authority would like to make it clear that in referring the matter to the CCC on an urgent basis, it acted within the 48-hour timeline as required by the elections regulations.”

The CCC’s public hearings will begin at 6pm today at Icasa’s headquarters in Sandton.

The DA laid a complaint with Icasa on Saturday after the SABC failed to broadcast its election advertisement.

Today, it announced that it would approach the court on an urgent basis to “compel Icasa to stick to its own rules”.

The DA said: “Following our urgent high court application this morning, the Democratic Alliance has just received a letter from Icasa informing us that the hearing on our complaint against the SABC will be held at 18:00.

“We are pleased that Icasa has now decided to move the hearing forward to this evening. Nevertheless, we are not withdrawing our court application before we get an indication at this evening’s meeting as to when Icasa will give a final decision.”


The Ayisafani advert was pulled off air last week along with four radio advertisements.

The advert in question shows the DA’s Gauteng premier candidate and spokesperson, Mmusi Maimane, standing in front of a mirror talking about the state of the country. He says life today is better than it was 20 years ago and gives credit to great leaders who he believes have taken the country forward.

“But since 2008 we’ve seen President Jacob Zuma’s ANC. An ANC that is corrupt. An ANC for the connected few. An ANC that is taking us backwards. An ANC where more than 1.4 million people have lost jobs.”

Maimane then asks Zuma where the jobs are.

The SABC did not broadcast the advertisement and gave the DA a letter. In it, SABC acting group CEO Tian Olivier informed the party that it would not be able to broadcast the advert on radio or television as it incited violence. The SABC said the party could submit an amended version of the advertisement.

The CCC – established in terms of the Icasa Act – is an independent statutory body empowered to adjudicate, hear and make a finding on all matters referred to it, not only by the authority, but also by the public.

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