'It's great news' - Icasa ruling on SABC protest ban welcomed

2016-07-11 16:42

(Aljoscha Kohlstock)

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Cape Town - The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (Icasa) order that the SABC must reverse its decision to ban visuals of violent protests is a step in the right direction, the lead complainant in the matter said on Monday.

The ruling confirmed Media Monitoring Africa’s suspicions of censorship at the public broadcaster, MMA director William Bird told News24.

"It's great news for a Monday afternoon. It will be nice to see if the SABC board chair has the humility to apologise over the decision.

"Importantly, it at least confirms what we had said all along, that the SABC's decision was blatant censorship. It was anti-democratic, offensive and it was undermining the SABC and our Constitution."

MMA laid the complaint with Icasa's complaints and compliance committee along with the Save Our SABC coalition and the Freedom of Expression Institute. Icasa held a public hearing on the matter on June 24.

'Complete insanity'

READ: As it happened: SABC media briefing on Icasa ruling

Icasa acting chairperson Rubben Mohlaloga told reporters on Monday that the order was binding. The SABC had a week to reverse its decision.

Bird said more still had to be done to counter recent decisions at the SABC.

"This is one step in the process. There are still journalists who are suspended, and we've got to fight this.

"But at least this is some impact on the complete insanity currently determining editorial policy at the SABC.

"Frankly, we deserve better as South Africans."

Read more on:    icasa  |  sabc  |  cape town  |  media

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