'No bailout' for SABC board

2009-06-04 14:17

Johannesburg - The SABC's R2bn bailout should be withheld until its board is replaced, the Young Communist League said at a protest against the SABC in Johannesburg on Thursday.

"The board must go, then they can get their money," YCL spokesperson Castro Ngobese said as about 1 000 producers, technicians and actors picketed against the SABC.

Ngobese accused board chairwoman Kanyi Mkonza of using the SABC's money to fund the Congress of the People (Cope).

"That is why they don't have it, because the money is in Cope," Ngobese said.

However, the main reason for the march, which started around noon, was to highlight grievances over the broadcaster's non-payment of work it commissions.

"I'm here to demand a forensic audit," said 7de Laan actress Vinette Ebrahim, who plays Charmaine in the popular soap opera.

'No money for school fees, please help'

She said she was disgusted that people weren't being paid and were losing their houses, as a small child carried a poster reading "no money for school fees, please help".

Actor Michael de Pinha, well known for his role in the Yebo Gogo advertisements for Vodacom, said while he had never struggled to receive payment, he was there in solidarity with producers, who were battling.

Peter Goldsmid, who is on the committee which organised the march, said: "We don't want to bring the SABC down, we just want it to meet its obligations to all South Africans and the industry."

A man carrying a fake tombstone with the words "RIP SA stories" was among the star-studded crowd.

"I am here to mourn the death of SA story telling," he said, explaining that he doesn't get paid for rewrites and he and his family struggle to find money to feed their small baby.

Artists' manager Gaenor Becker said they also never get paid for repeats even though it is in the actors' contracts.

Once at the SABC, the protesters plan to hand over a memorandum of their demands.

The SABC board was meeting on Thursday as the march took place.