Johannesburg – The allegations of censorship at the SABC are very serious and should be investigated, the ANC said on Friday.
There was no place in a constitutional democracy for censorship and the ANC expected the SABC to deal with the allegations in a way that upheld freedom of the press, spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.
He said an entire institution should not be made into a problem because of one individual - SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
“If Hlaudi is the problem, it must not be viewed as the entire institution being the problem. Hlaudi is not the SABC. We sometimes institutionalize individuals in order to attack the institution itself.”
Kodwa said the SABC’s management should be able to investigate the issues concerning censorship and act appropriately.
“We have to let them deal with the issues. It's very clear there are issues that need attending to at the SABC, for example the high turnover of CEOs. There are a lot of acting people and nobody is full-time. That in itself has got an impact on the management of SABC,” he said.
The party felt that genuine concerns about the SABC’s editorial policy and censorship seemed to have been "hijacked by right-wingers such as Solidarity and Zwelinzima Vavi".
“Some people will take any chance to launch an attack on the SABC.”
On Friday morning, journalists from several media outlets picketed outside the SABC’s offices in Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town in support of three journalists who were served with suspension letters last week.
They disagreed with an instruction during a diary conference not to cover the Right2Know campaign's protest against censorship at the public broadcaster earlier that week.
Motsoeneng has been criticized for his decision last month that the SABC will no longer air footage of the destruction of property during protests.