Johannesburg – The Democratic Alliance (DA) will lodge a complaint with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) after the SABC allegedly refused to air its election advertisement, said the party's national spokesperson and shadow minister of communications, Phumzile Van Damme.
In a statement, Van Damme said the SABC had informed the party that it had no available slots for political advertisements. The DA said the SABC blamed its refusal to air its adverts on delays in the IEC’s work with respect to the elections.
“This is nothing but a poor excuse by the SABC in order to censor the DA's political advertisement as has become standard during election time... The DA will not stand idly by while the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression is assaulted.
“Accordingly, the DA will be lodging a formal complaint with Icasa to stave off the SABC’s attempt to abuse its power by attempting to censor the DA and protect the ANC from criticism,” it said.
In terms of Icasa municipal election regulations, political parties can broadcast political advertisements during the election period.
“The DA and indeed all political parties are well within their rights to air party political advertisements at this time as the election date has been proclaimed,” Van Damme said.
The DA said it would begin airing its political advertisement on Monday on other television and radio stations.