PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Sipho Hlongwane
 
Comments: 98
Article views: 57
 
 
Latest Badges:
 
 

SABC 'did not censor Cliff'

21 December 2009, 07:00  - Sipho Hlongwane
Someone shoot me now. That quarrelsome attention-seeker Gareth Cliff is told where to get off by the SABC, and suddenly we're living in Soviet Russia?

As you most probably know, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, our much execrated former Health Minister passed away last Wednesday, unleashing a wave of joyful celebration from some of her critics, chief amongst these being Gareth Cliff. Apparently they just couldn't resist the opportunity to gleefully dance on the grave of a controversial public figure. As the public rose against Gareth Cliff in fury, he refused to back down (and why would he? The attention was putting squarely in the limelight, no?)

The SABC then took the laudable step of ensuring that Mr Cliff didn't use his platform to spread his rancid views  by issuing him with a stern warning not to say anything about Dr Tshabala-Msimang's death on air. To his credit, Mr Cliff assured the SABC that he had had no such intentions. That should have been that.

Some people however, are now claiming that this shows that the SABC is not a public broadcaster, but a state broadcaster and that freedom of expression has been crushed, blah-blah-blah. Er yes, freedom of expression has been limited. That's the point, isn't it? Gareth Cliff's views on the death of Manto Tshabalala-Msimang are insensitive and border on the immoral. It is simply grotesque to take delight over someone's death, no matter how much we disagreed with that person.

And no, this isn't about defending Dr Tshabalala-Msimang's legacy, or being suddenly hypocritical upon her death. No one denies that because of her robust support for the Mbeki Administration's stance on HIV/Aids, hundreds of thousands of people died unnecessarily. That is not the issue at all. Her death leaves behind many grieving relatives and friends, and to openly and boorishly exalt over her death shows deep disrespect to these people.

Even Zackie Achmat and the Treatment Action Campaign, arguably the people with the most reasons to be gleeful over Tshabalala-Msimang's death, offered condolences to the bereaved family. Many critics, out of respect, muted their criticism of Dr Tshabalala-Msimang's policies when the news of her death first surfaced.

Is Gareth Cliff too much of a lout to do the same? Apparently, yes.

The argument that emotions should never replace truth, no matter how difficult it is, doesn't fly. It is possible to speak the truth without being castigating.

Understandably then, the SABC has told Gareth Cliff where to get off. People are confusing this with wrongful censoring. The SABC, as a public broadcaster, have a duty towards their listeners to ensure that all their broadcasts are in the public good, are not unnecessarily offensive or immoral.

The Constitution also provides that freedom of expression may be limited if that freedom infringes on the rights of others. Freedom of expression isn't as sacred as some might think (Why is it not allowed to call a black person a kaffir on air? Think about it). You can't just say what you like. This isn't the Yukon in 1896 after all. Besides, Mr. Cliff is free to be as obnoxious as he likes elsewhere, isn't he? The SABC simply said, “Not here, buddy.”

May this be the last word in what is becoming an increasingly tiresome 'debate'.

Follow Sipho Hlongwane on Twitter.

 

Get published on MyNews24 by sending your letter, story or column to us.
Send us your news photos

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
98 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Johan le Roux468
Castro in reply to Victor van Hee...

Reading Victor van Heerden's posting on news24 I cannot but think that all his information on Castro is based on propaganda put out relentlessly by the USA. Read more...

0 comments 461 views
Submitted by
William Boyle
The quasi "politically correct".

Whether Harper Lee's To Kill A Mocking Bird is indeed what many literary critics worldwide claim as a "classic", is subject to debate. Read more...

0 comments 246 views
Submitted by
Khaya Tyatya
Minimum wage will not address inc...

It is ironic that the proposed minimum wage announcement by Deputy President Ramaphosa came a few weeks after Shoprite CEO, Whitey Basson pocketed a “cool” R50m bonus. Read more...

0 comments 201 views
Submitted by
Revelgen
The Holy Grail of bribes - nuclea...

The Holy Grail of bribery has been the trillion rand nuclear deal, almost certainly already signed by Zuma with Putin, another gangster. But now that is beginning to slip away. Read more...

0 comments 2134 views
Submitted by
SoSaysMyDad
How much would be left after #Fee...

While the university students call for free and decolonised education, it's only proper for businesses to be proactive and help. After all, they have vested interests in their communities with their workforce and as well as their customers.  Read more...

0 comments 306 views
Submitted by
Nicholas K Mashabela
The danger of politicising our ju...

The judicial system of RSA is in danger of being relegated to a mere political contestation field. It is crucial that we protect it. Read more...

0 comments 175 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2016 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.