EFF to march after regulator upholds SABC ad ban

2014-04-26 18:16

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will march to the SABC offices in protest against a ruling that upholds the broadcaster’s decision not to flight the party’s TV advert.

Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) spokesperson Paseka Maleka said: “The Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) ruled that the [advert] may be perceived as condoning or lending support to unlawful acts, in that, it talks about destroying e-tolls, which would be perceived as damage to property.”

He said the committee made its ruling around 11.30am today.

The EFF rejected the ruling and said it would march to the SABC offices in Auckland Park, Joburg, on Tuesday.

“Icasa by its ruling has confirmed that it is working together with all undemocratic interest groups that imposed e-tolls on the people of Gauteng,” spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.

“These interest groups do not want e-tolls to be on top of the agenda for the elections out of fear of costing the ANC votes.”

Terry Motau, for SABC, told the committee last night that the broadcaster had advised the party on April 16 that its advert had been rejected. The EFF lodged a complaint on April 22.

Motau asked the committee to dismiss the EFF’s complaint for being late, and on the merits of his case.

He said the language used to discuss e-tolls in the EFF’s manifesto was not the same as that used in the advert.

The advert, mostly in black and white, is entitled Now is the Time for Economic Freedom. It was posted on YouTube a week ago and had been viewed over 159 033 times by this afternoon.


SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said today that SABC rejected the advert because it contravened section 4(12)(b) of Icasa’s regulations on party election broadcasts (PEB) in that the advert contained words which were likely to provoke or incite unlawful, illegal or criminal acts.

“The SABC, in terms of the regulations, gave the EFF the opportunity to remove the offending words from the PEB, the EFF refused to do so but instead elected to refer a complaint to the CCC.”

The SABC had also presented its case to the CCC last week on why it had rejected a television advert by the DA stating that an image used in it would incite violence against police. The broadcaster then changed its legal team and asked that the matter be adjourned until further notice.

Kganyago said the broadcaster would no longer pursue its case against the advert.

He said the CCC’s ruling yesterday between the DA and the SA Police Service had dealt with the issues which were the basis of the SABC withdrawing the advert initially.

CCC chairperson Wandile Tutani decided to uphold the SA Police Service’s complaint on Friday night.

The SA Police Service contended the advert would incite violence against the police.

“The election period tends to bring about a lot of volatility. The police should not be seen as a threat to the community,” Tutani said.

“The offending part of the advert [must] be excised. That is our decision.”

Maimane, who was present at the ruling, disagreed, stating it was not right that conversation and commentary be restrained.

“It’s an injustice and in fact we will be taking this decision under review at the high court.”

SABC’s acting Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said in a statement he was pleased with both rulings.

“These decisions nullify the allegations made that the SABC was not partial in its decisionmaking and was not compelled by external parties.

“This is also an indication that the SABC upholds its editorial independence and editorial policies,” Motsoeneng said.

The broadcaster urged both parties to amend their adverts if they wished to have them flighted.

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