SABC acknowledges bad conduct

2012-11-12 22:06
SABC acting head of news Jimi Matthews is seen after the Freedom of Expression Institute withdrew a complaint over the blacklisting of commentators. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

SABC acting head of news Jimi Matthews is seen after the Freedom of Expression Institute withdrew a complaint over the blacklisting of commentators. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The SABC has acknowledged that the conduct of employees named in a Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) complaint contravened its own editorial policies.

This was the terms of the settlement reached by the FXI and the SABC over the public broadcaster's black-listing of commentators, they said in a joint statement on Monday.

The SABC admitted that the conduct was not in line with its code of conduct for broadcasters.

It contravened SABC licensing conditions in respect of news and current affairs, and the SABC charter as contained in section six of the Broadcasting Act.

As a result, the SABC had adopted guidelines on the use of commentators, experts and analysts by SABC news.

"The parties had started settlement negotiations last week and they were finalised this morning," FXI and the SABC said.

"As a result, the FXI has withdrawn the complaint against the SABC and this settles fully and finally the FXI’s complaint against the SABC."

A public hearing by the Complaints Compliance Committee (CCC) of the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) was to have been heard on Monday.

The FXI lodged the complaint in 2007 after allegations surfaced of a "blacklist" implemented by the SABC's then group executive of news Snuki Zikalala.

It was believed Zikalala instructed his staff not to use certain political commentators because of their views on the presidency of Thabo Mbeki.

These commentators held particular views on the African National Congress's succession debate.

In the public interest

An independent commission of inquiry set up by the SABC found Zikalala gave the instruction. Based on this finding, the FXI laid a complaint with Icasa.

It contended that the SABC had violated the Broadcasting Act, the Icasa Act, the Constitution and its licence conditions by excluding commentators from expressing their views on the succession debate.

The SABC applied to Icasa to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the CCC had no jurisdiction to investigate, hear, or make findings on the complaint. The CCC ruled in favour of the SABC.

The FXI then took the matter to the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, which set aside the ruling and found that Icasa did have the authority to monitor the SABC's compliance.

The matter was referred back to the CCC to investigate and come to a decision on the matter.

Both parties said they were happy that the matter had finally been resolved.

"We remain committed to having a public broadcaster which will actively ensure the availability of social and political views on its airways," they said.

Meanwhile, the DA has urged both parties to reveal the terms of their settlement.

"It is unacceptable that a case that is clearly in the public interest... should be settled behind closed doors without the terms of this settlement being made public," Democratic Alliance MP Marian Shinn said on Monday.

"South Africans concerned with the suppression of diverse views... are anxious to learn what, if any, compromises or sanctions have been decided."

- SAPA

Read more on:    da  |  sabc  |  fxi  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
13 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 09:10 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    ACCIDENT obstructing two lanes before Hospital Bend - HEAVY DELAYS from Duinefontein Road
  • Wednesday Paarden Eiland - 09:02 AM
    Road name: Marine Drive Inbound
    DELAYS approaching the N1 Highway
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

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.