702's Eusebius McKaiser created 'hostile environment' and 'demonstrated intolerance' - BCCSA

2017-07-19 14:59
Eusebius McKaiser speaks at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

Eusebius McKaiser speaks at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Johannesburg – The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) says 702 radio presenter Eusebius McKaiser created a "hostile environment" and "demonstrated intolerance" during a discussion programme in May.

The BCCSA has since reprimanded 702 for contravening clause 13 of the Broadcasting Code.

Clause 13 – the Controversial Issues of Public Importance – states that during controversial issues of public importance, a broadcaster must make reasonable efforts to fairly present opposing points of view, either in the same programme or in a subsequent programme.

The clause also states that a person whose views are to be criticised in a broadcasting programme on controversial issues, must be given the right to reply.

The BCCSA said McKaiser created a "hostile environment" on the programme when he broadcast a clip of a speech by former president FW de Klerk in 1993, out of context.

This was during a discussion programme hosted by McKaiser, which was broadcast on May 7, 2017 at 10:00 on 702 radio and on Cape Talk, which discussed "the controversial issue of the role of ex-President FW de Klerk in the political discourse on the future of this country".

Lack of balance

After playing an extract of De Klerk’s speech – in which he authorised a raid on a base in Umtata, where some children were killed – McKaiser and his guest agreed that De Klerk had to take responsibility for this deed, because "the buck stops with the president".

According to McKaiser, De Klerk only "came into existence" after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to him and President Nelson Mandela.

He added that De Klerk had not apologised for his part in the oppression of black people and that he had not played open cards with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The FW De Klerk Foundation, through its chairperson Dave Steward, lodged a complaint with the BCCSA after the broadcast.

Steward phoned in to the show and complained that there was a lack of balance in the programme, saying that De Klerk had not been given the opportunity to respond.

Steward pointed out that De Klerk had been instrumental in the creation of the new democratic system in South Africa, and that even Mandela had praised him for this.

'Who the hell are you?'

McKaiser responded, saying Steward could not tell black people that they could not save themselves, and that Steward was "laughable".

During a heated discussion, McKaiser said, "Who the hell are you?" before cutting Steward’s call.

Steward said McKaiser had not made reasonable efforts to fairly present opposing points of view, and that the person whose views were to be criticised, was not given the right to reply to the criticism.

McKaiser had "demonstrated intolerance" towards opposing views and had made no reasonable efforts to fairly present opposing points of views.

It found that no right to reply was granted to De Klerk or his spokesperson by inviting any of them to appear on a programme that was clearly intended to criticise De Klerk.

McKaiser could not be reached for comment.

Read more on:    fw de klerk  |  eusebius mckaiser  |  johannesburg  |  media  |  politics

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