SABC: There’s no crisis here

By Drum Digital
30 June 2016

Public broadcaster, the SABC has dared the journalists complaining about the much-publicised alleged censorship to continue with their public display of displeasure or face consequences.

By Brenda Sekgota

Public broadcaster, the SABC has dared the journalists complaining about the much-publicized alleged censorship to continue with their public display of displeasure or face the consequences.

The broadcaster says the journalists should act in accordance with the rules of the SABC, stipulated in their their employment contracts.

Spokesman Kaizer Kganyago says that among the rules in that, journalists from the SABC are not allowed to speak to the media.

“If any journalist is caught speaking to the media, SABC would use the same rules to discipline them,”Kganyago told DRUM on Thursday.

However he adds that, it would be unfair to say that everybody is happy at the SABC, but their mandate does not include “dealing with minor problems as we have bigger fish to fry”.

This week, journalists from other institutions circulated messages via social media and e mail planning to protest outside the broadcaster’s Auckland Park, Johannesburg offices, as a form of solidarity. The SABC hit headlines in recent weeks, after COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng announced that the broadcaster would not air news broadcast depicting violent public protest. He later declared that negative press about President Jacob Zuma would not be aired.

These led to widespread opposition and resistance from even among SABC staffers.

Many of the staff members believe that the changes affect their press freedom and values as journalist.

The message reads: On Friday the journos will gather outside SABC Auckland Park dressed in black with placards that read #notinmyname, we will join them to proceed to the Constitution Hill.

“This is not about us or our respective media houses but direct assault on our profession and press freedom.”

Three journalists were suspended last week for raising questions about a decision not to cover the Right2Know campaign protest outside their offices.

But Kganyago insists that there was no crisis at the public broadcaster.

“We are still able to broadcast programmes as scheduled and journalists are continuing as normal. It’s just one or two people who want to create a picture that there is crisis at the SABC,” said Kganyago.

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