It is not a blanket ban, it’s a veil - SABC

2016-07-11 20:57
(Photo: SABC website)

(Photo: SABC website)

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Johannesburg - The SABC stands by its decision not to air footage of the destruction of property during violent protests and will not retract it, its management said on Monday.

This despite an order by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) that it must reverse its decision.

“I still believe that we were right and I maintain that we are right,” SABC board chairperson Prof Mbulaheni Maguvhe told reporters in Johannesburg.

The public broadcaster had not effected a “blanket ban” on protests, but had merely chosen not to air any acts of property being destroyed, only the aftermath, he said.

“For us it is not a blanket ban, it is just a veil. You can see through because in any case we are showing visuals. If it was a blanket ban, there wouldn’t be any visuals at all,” he said.

Media Monitoring Africa, the Save Our SABC coalition, and the Freedom of Expression Institute laid a complaint with Icasa's complaints and compliance committee.

Icasa held an urgent public hearing on the matter on June 24. On Monday, the authority’s acting chairperson Rubben Mohlaloga told reporters that the order was binding. The SABC had a week to reverse its decision, he said.

Maghuve said the board would seek legal advice on the SABC’s next step.

“Between now and five days, we are going to engage our legal team and if their advice is that we are going to review this matter with the relevant authorities, which would include the High Court or the Constitutional Court, that is what we are going to do, because we still believe that this is still a moral and a conscious decision that we have taken.”

SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said the public broadcaster would challenge Icasa’s decision. It would not accept Icasa’s order or instructions from “external forces” trying to control the SABC.

“No one is going to tell us what to do.

"We are not going to change anything. Newspapers they can come together, Right2Know, everybody, we invite you to do that, we are equal to the task," he said.

Read more on:    icasa  |  sabc  |  hlaudi motsoeneng  |  media
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