SABC pulls The Big Debate before start of second season

2013-10-17 17:10

The SABC has pulled the plug on the second season of its popular news programme The Big Debate.

The first episode of the new season of the town hall debate show, set to run for the next 10 weeks, would have aired at 9.30pm tonight.

The series of debates on issues ranging from health to education, land reform to racism were to have taken place across the country.

News of the decision not to flight tonight’s episode – one of three already recorded by the show’s team – broke on Twitter this afternoon after host Siki Mgabadeli tweeted that the show had been canned.

“Today was supposed to have been the debut of season 2 of#TheBigDebate, unfortunately we’ve been pulled off the air. We don’t know why:-(. I cannot express how angry I am. #TheBigDebate is off the air,’’ she tweeted.

Mgabadeli later tweeted that it seemed the decision to stop the show “came from the very top of the SABC ... No explanation was given.’’

The episodes which were to have been recorded this weekend would have dealt with youth, and water and sanitation.

Yesterday, the show posted on its Facebook page: “Does any political party in SA appeal to ‘born frees’? This Sat, Big Debate invites 200 youth to engage our leaders. What should they ask?”

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago was unable to comment immediately, but undertook to respond to written questions from City Press.

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