SABC ordered to apologise to M&G journo

2011-03-24 08:24

Johannesburg - The SABC has been ordered to apologise to the Mail & Guardian newspaper for broadcasting an "inaccurate" and "distorted" story about one of the newspaper's journalists.

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) found that, in neglecting to give journalist Sam Sole the right to reply to allegations that he accepted a R900 bribe and was guilty of racial bias, the SABC failed in its obligation to publish truthful and unbiased news in an ethical manner.

The allegations against Sole were made by businessman Robert Gumede in a report on the SABC on November 4.

In the insert broadcast on SABC3 and SAfm, Sole was accused of accepting bribes from British businessman John Sterenborg in return for publishing damaging allegations of corruption against Gumede.


"Here’s a payment, one of the first payments that Sterenborg made out to a journalist who is an award-winning journalist, so-called investigative journalist who goes out to attack black people, to say that they are corrupt, they bribe people and here it is," Gumede said in the report.

The BCCSA said the report was "serious" and "damaging".

"The allegations made by Gumede against Sole are very serious and damaging," the BCCSA said.

"Sole’s credibility as an investigative journalist was questioned and he was not afforded the opportunity to defend himself.

"The SABC is clearly biased against the Mail & Guardian."

The BCCSA said the broadcaster had "intentionally or negligently" distorted and misrepresented the facts of the story, "in particular, the allegation that Sterenborg paid Sole a bribe".

Code of conduct

It said the SABC had failed to contact Sole and had approached the Mail & Guardian only an hour-and-a-half before the story was to be aired. Gumede was contacted three-and-a-half hours earlier.

"The SABC has failed to comply with the BCCSA code of conduct by broadcasting the Gumede-Mail & Guardian story in a manner which is inconsistent with the requirements of the code of conduct.

"The BCCSA is requested to order the SABC to broadcast an apology to the Mail & Guardian and Sole on the SABC 3 19:00 news bulletin and on the SAfm 06:00 and 07:00 news.

"The apology must be given the same prominence as the original broadcast."

The SABC said it believed it had not contravened the code.

  • Neutral-brow - 2011-03-24 08:41

    Hah! can't w8!

      dubloki - 2011-03-24 09:52

      It might actually be the only time I'd tune into SABC to watch something.

      truthseeker - 2011-03-24 13:42

      haven't watched sabc in years but im tuning in tonight. what channel are they on. can't remember.

  • saliem - 2011-03-24 08:47

    Tough $h1ts SABC... apologise and shut-up :P

  • Wow! - 2011-03-24 08:54

    Bloody ANC propoganda machine that is all the SABC is NOW. It is time that we - who pay our TV licenses - put a full boycott on this behavour. Everything that the ANC touches these days reeks of corruptness.

      FaxM8 Fax - 2011-03-24 09:20

      Why do you pay your license in the first place ?

      cerveza - 2011-03-24 10:16

      @Lacoste - sadly yes, the ANC did not do as they promised to increase recycling and switch to greener power and instead increased fossil fuel power generation that gives of a lot of heat to produce, and thus your town is intolerable

      Stryder - 2011-03-24 11:48

      @Lacoste- Sarcasm, nice. Your point is flawed in that the ANC chooses who runs the SABC, the ANC does not choose the weather. So Wow!'s commment is relevant and possibly accurate, whereas yours is simply sarcastic and stupid.

  • Felix - 2011-03-24 08:57

    Who watches SABC? Bunch of crap.

      Johnboy - 2011-03-24 09:06

      I will surely be watching SABC 3 tonight to see the Propaganda Machine grovel a bit!! We sure are furtunate to have a local independant news channel as well as international news channels. In the good old days there was only the NP Propaganda Machine.

      Max - 2011-03-24 12:02

      No, we the poor watches SABC.

      Felix - 2011-03-24 12:23

      Sorry Max, my comment was tounge and cheek. I do know some people don't have a choice. If it's any consolation, DSTV is also mostly a bunch of repetitive crap.

  • citadell_los - 2011-03-24 09:01

    SABC? Lapdogs for the ANC with about as much integrity as faulty pregnancy test, and about the same molecular structure that they have now deemed as a replacement for common sense.

  • Kevin King - 2011-03-24 09:08

    Race card being used by racists, what a laugh!

      onetickie - 2011-03-24 11:08

      Yes like it goes: ring-a-ring of roses, arsholes full of noses ......

  • Muzzy21 - 2011-03-24 09:11

    Is this the quality of news they are feeding the Nation? Instead investigating and exposing people who are corrupt they resort to making corruption a myth.I wonder if this is not the payment in kind for the Gijima contact.Did Gumede even open a case,I bet he did not.I am black(for interest sake),for once lets look at this for what it is,another form of corruption(abuse of state resources).

  • Other Justin - 2011-03-24 09:11

    The mouthpiece of the ANC asked to apologise - 'Sorry, but our reporting was taken out of context.....' LOL! Bunch of incompetent choplets.

  • kaMazibuko - 2011-03-24 09:12

    This bloody BCCSA is racially biased itself...this is the 1st time I've heard them asking the wrong party to give the apology the same prominence as the story itself....have they forgotten about the small so called apologies by mail and guardian that they post in the classifieds

      Felix - 2011-03-24 09:18

      Are you saying they are biased toward the black & white newspaper over the coloured TV?

  • Umfubi - 2011-03-24 09:18

    We don't yet know if the allegations were true or not, only that the manner of reporting them was unethical. If they are not true, I hope Sole and the M&G sue the pants off both the SABC and Gumede.

  • jiamalunga - 2011-03-24 09:19

    ANC1, ANC2 and ANC3 What great channels! Wonder if they will air this apology? Maybe they won't have the broadcast rights for the apology...

  • tennilleg - 2011-03-24 09:23

    Vat so katvis! As jy dom is moet jy k@k.

  • thabomatwabeng - 2011-03-24 09:28

    Why can't the SABC accept the judgement? Instead the government wants a media tribunal that will regulate the print media only, but not the state controlled Television and Radio media which is the source of information for the majority of South Africans. Talk about bias. The S-ANC-BC is as bad as it was under the NP.

  • Limpopoist - 2011-03-24 09:29

    SABC again ,thet fails to broadcast live cricket game yesterday,but they are willing to partcipate in scam.NXA

  • Rapier - 2011-03-24 09:32

    Just like the NATS - SABC is ANC propaganda machine. We watch E-News for 1st 10 minutes, as on SABC this time is always loaded with ANC bias for the herd mentality. That is the only way to get some sort of wider perspective apart from newspapers.

  • GT - 2011-03-24 10:54

    SAm Sole is a national treasure. He must be supported!

  • Sputs - 2011-03-24 11:01

    "the allegations made by Gumede against Sole are very serious and damaging" "The BCCSA said the broadcaster had "intentionally or negligently" distorted and misrepresented the facts of the story, "in particular, the allegation that Sterenborg paid Sole a bribe"." In light of the above findings, maybe Sole should sue someone for defamation of character?

  • onetickie - 2011-03-24 11:07

    Good for M&G. Who watches SABC news anyway, its all just ANC propaganda.

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