BCCSA dismisses complaint against eNCA

2014-01-16 14:18
Cyril Ramaphosa (Leon Sadiki, Beeld)

Cyril Ramaphosa (Leon Sadiki, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) has dismissed a complaint against news channel eNCA for allegedly combining two clips to create the impression of praying at a meeting addressed by ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

"The viewing of the material at the hearing of the matter clearly demonstrated that this was not the case," BCCSA tribunal chairperson Kobus van Rooyen said in his judgment, released on Thursday.

"A man with clearly identifiable clothing was shown to have been part of the audience in both instances, and in both he was sitting in the same place."

The complainant stated the report, aired on 11 November, showed a group of people in Kempton Park closing their eyes in prayer, apparently in support of Ramaphosa.

"It was obvious that the crowd of people was at a church rally of some sort, and not the same crowd at the same time supporting Cyril Ramaphosa," the complainant stated.

"I want to formally lay a complaint against [eNCA] for dishonest reporting."

In response, eNCA said the report of the rally in Kempton Park in support of the ANC showed "some few people" in the audience praying during the gathering.

"But they were not from some church service elsewhere as claimed by the complainant," the news channel said.

"There was no superimposition of any audience and on the basis of this we submit that the complaint is without merit and should be dismissed."

At the hearing, it was pointed out to the tribunal that at the meeting a man with clearly identifiable clothing was also a member of the group of people praying at the same meeting, said Van Rooyen.

"In both instances, the audience shown was one and the same group of people."

While the complaint was of a serious nature, the facts before the tribunal clearly indicated that eNCA's reputation had been unjustifiably called into question.

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