DA welcomes court finding on SABC

2011-01-26 22:03

Cape Town - The DA on Wednesday welcomed the South Gauteng High Court's finding that the SABC had, under the leadership of its former news head Snuki Zikalala, unlawfully manipulated news coverage.

"The SABC has for too long run renegade against its legislative mandate and constitutional obligation to provide news coverage that is unbiased, impartial, balanced and free from political interference," Democratic Alliance spokesperson Natasha Michael said in a statement.

The court, in a judgment handed down on Monday this week, set aside a 2009 decision by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to dismiss a complaint against the national broadcaster laid by the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI).

Michael said the DA noted the SABC's "chastisement" by the court for its politically motivated "widespread manipulation" of the news under the Zikalala's leadership.

"We welcome the court's order that (Icasa) determine the complaints laid against the SABC - for the blacklisting of political commentators that Mr Zikalala viewed as too critical of government - afresh."

She said that while most of the instances the court dealt with had occurred under the Mbeki administration, President Jacob Zuma had "demonstrated attempts to exact political control over the public broadcaster just like the Mbeki administration did.

"Indeed, over the past 18 months, numerous instances of blatant bias in the SABC's handling of its current and foreign affairs brief, and in its appointment of staff, have been documented."

Michael said this included, among others, SABC TV news' "suppression of the major national news story relating to Jacob Zuma's love child with Sonono Khoza".

Other examples were the ban, reportedly instituted by SABC head of news Phil Molefe, of all coverage featuring former president Thabo Mbeki, and the broadcaster's chairperson Ben Ngubane's "refusal to distance the SABC from Julius Malema's statement that the ANC owns the SABC", she said.

  • Macho Mike - 2011-01-26 23:05

    Eish, the Anc had unlawfully manipulated news coverage..........i can't believe they would do such a thing, i just can't believe.

  • Paula - 2011-01-27 07:49

    its about time that this came about

      April - 2011-01-27 08:08

      Will it really change anything?

  • wgibsonsa - 2011-01-27 09:20

    And we are supposed to pay our hard earned monies over to this lot of clowns in the form of TV licences.

  • Cynical_BStd - 2011-01-27 09:33

    State and Private News coverage From the US to Zim is far more manipulated and controlled than here in SA - In most countries including the US you could be jailed,put out of business or killed for speaking out aginst the government - In life He who who has the Gold(Anc)has the the final say - 2011-01-27 10:05

      How would you know this?I think you might have watched too many DVD's!Movies today always show the US govt. to be the bad guys because they dont want too offend other nations or trading partners - unless you're an Arab of course - they can also be the bad guys!

      ulstersaffa - 2011-01-27 11:05

      @cynical. i dont think you know what you talking about. they are very critical of the goverment in the us,uk and any other democrate country news coverage. sa is moving towards a non-democrated country, they are taking freedom of speach away and showing us only what we want to hear. sounds a bit similar...hmmm let me think...the apartheid!!!!!

  • EchoTango - 2011-01-27 11:49

    The more things change the more they stay the same. At least the apartheid government were blatant about there censorship and propaganda. The SABC should re brand themselves as the ANCBC because nothing is going to change.

  • randrdunbar - 2011-01-27 11:58

    Well done to the South Gauteng High Court!This matter needs be followed through and handled with the thoroughness it deserves.ICASA's lack of objectivity should also be brought into question.

  • Cynical_BStd - 2011-01-27 16:03

    Rodbod and Ulster - What I am trying to get across is that not matter how good or how bad a government is they will always control the media, especially state owned media to influence thier citizens - this includes the ARABS Indians Chinese Africans Russians and any nationality I may have left out - BTW read John Pilger - Freedom Next Time

  • cammaratagerardo - 2011-01-27 22:08

    Screw them. I'll never pay my TV licence again.

  • cammaratagerardo - 2011-01-28 00:15

    By paying your TV license it means you are supporting the ANC. Which I don't, so I won't.

  • Paula - 2011-01-28 08:19

    The problem in S.A, is we hear about the corruption and how our goverment is carrying on, we complain and moan, but what do we do..... nothing. Maybe its about time South Africans stand together and say ENOUGH.

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