Buthelezi: SABC keeping me off the screen

2012-09-14 22:15
Mangosuthu Buthelezi (File, Die Burger)

Mangosuthu Buthelezi (File, Die Burger)

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Johannesburg - IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi demanded equal news coverage for political parties at a protest march outside the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in Johannesburg on Friday.

He accused the broadcaster of blatantly "snubbing the Inkatha Freedom Party, and keeping him off the screen".

"The SABC should be the voice of the people... [But] its ANC, ANC everywhere you look," said Buthelezi.

"We are not here to fight. We are here to demand fairness for all South Africans."

SABC chairperson Ben Ngubane received a memorandum of understanding from the IFP crowd.

Addressing Ngubane, Buthelezi said they had exhausted all other avenues.

"It's not surprising [that the SABC gives preference] to the ruling party, but it's wrong," Buthelezi said.

The state broadcaster also made the news this week following a union statement that former African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema -- a vocal critic of President Jacob Zuma -- had been banned from the airways.

Buthelezi criticised the ANC for having the power to hand-pick SABC board members and accused them of always picking ANC members.

He stated that the sidelining of the IFP had a long history and alleged that even (the late) Prime Minister PW Botha had once issued an order for him and his party to be left out of state broadcasts.

Ngubane accepted the memorandum and welcomed the IFP demonstrators.

"This is your SABC and we welcome you," said Ngubane.

He denied however, that they had received complaints from the IFP before.

"We have never seen these issues you [claim to have submitted]... But we will work together [to resolve them]," he said.

Ngubane stressed that they needed to learn to separate politics and government issues as the national broadcaster.

"We need to do justice and not be biased."

The 84-year-old Buthelezi led over a thousand IFP supporters on the five kilometer walk from Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown to the SABC studios.

The protesters, many of whom wear dressed in IFP T-shirts and Zulu traditional outfits, had come in buses from all across the province.

"Buthelezi leads us," they sang as they marched through the CBD.

Read more on:    anc  |  ifp  |  sabc  |  mangosuthu buthelezi  |  ben ngubane  |  johannesburg  |  politics  |  media

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