Media ad ban for Madiba

2013-12-06 11:15

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All programming and advertising has been shelved at the public broadcaster across all its television channels and radio stations for at least 48 hours – and possibly longer.

This is to make way for tributes to Nelson Mandela.

“This was the plan all along,” spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told City Press.

“The three TV channels will be showing the same coverage, which is tributes and documentaries with crossings to different venues to get messages from leaders and people there. It’s all that matters for the next few days.”

Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro have also announced that there will be no screenings of the hit biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom at local cinemas today, in honour of the passing of the film’s protagonist.

It was at the film’s London premiere last night that Zindzi Mandela learned of her father’s death.

The Guardian reports that she was given the news during the film. The rest of the audience – including members of the royal family and lead actor Idris Elba – were told after the screening.

South Africans will be able to see the film from tomorrow again.

Ster-Kinekor owners Primedia Broadcasting first made the decision after consulting with producer Anant Singh.

At the same time they announced that, like SABC, Primedia will be suspending all advertising on its radio stations – Talk Radio 702, 94.7 Highveld Stereo, 567 Cape Talk and 94.5 Kfm – “as a mark of respect” for Madiba.

Instead the media group will use its various digital platforms to pay tribute to Madiba.

“We are privileged to have lived during Madiba’s lifetime and to have shared in his journey. Let’s all come together to celebrate that lifetime by uniting in his memory,” said group CEO Kuben Pillay.

Kagiso Media, owners of East Coast Radio, Heart FM, OFM, Jacaranda FM, iGagasi FM and Kaya FM, have taken similar steps.

Kagiso’s Lundi Cavernelis told City Press that “across its portfolio Kagiso has cancelled on-air competitions and other on-air content, but generic advertising remains as scheduled”.

After the emotionally charged screening of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Elba last night released the following statement: “What an honour it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

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