Court orders SABC to broadcast DA congress

2015-05-08 23:39
Members of Mmusi Maimane's campaign team greet delegates at Port Elizabeth Airport. (Ahmed Areff, News24)

Members of Mmusi Maimane's campaign team greet delegates at Port Elizabeth Airport. (Ahmed Areff, News24)

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Johannesburg – The High Court in Johannesburg has ordered the SABC to provide live coverage of the DA’s federal congress in Port Elizabeth, the party said on Friday night.

“The SABC conceded before Judge Carelse that it had no case, by agreeing to the order sought by the DA,” Democratic Alliance federal executive chairperson James Selfe said in a statement.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago could not immediately comment.

Before the ruling, Kganyago had denied that the public broadcaster was reneging on an agreement with the DA and that the party wanted to dictate to the SABC.

“We never promised to show [the congress] on SABC 2. They must show us where we promised that.”

The SABC would cover the event on its 24-hour DStv news channel, he said.

Selfe said this required an expensive subscription, beyond the means of many South Africans.

The DA had argued that the SABC’s withdrawal of its coverage was contrary to the public interest and the broadcaster’s editorial policy.

“The public broadcaster must act with political impartiality and must not display bias in its live coverage decisions.”

Party spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said the SABC consistently covered the ANC’s events.

“The SABC has, without fail, covered the ANC’s major national events, including extensive live broadcasts of elective and policy conferences, birthday celebrations and lectures.

“The SABC’s decision to withdraw live coverage of the DA’s federal congress, in contrast, is irrational and unreasonable.”

The opening ceremony would be broadcast live from 10:30 on Saturday, and the announcement of the party’s new leader live from 13:00 on Sunday.

Read more on:    da  |  da federal congress  |  james selfe  |  kaizer kganyago
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