Durban – The Right2Know campaign on Monday called on the people of KwaZulu-Natal to "stand up and claim the public broadcaster as their own".
The call was made by its KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Thabane Miya, following a peaceful demonstration outside the SABC offices in Durban. A small group of activists gathered, brandishing placards calling for an end to censorship.
"We are calling on all South Africans, and more especially the people of KZN, to come up and really show that the SABC belongs to them," Miya said.
Miya told News24 that the SABC had begun a steady decline, calling the recent ban on reading newspapers on air – a move implemented by SABC Chief Operating Office (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng – "a step toward dictatorship".
"The timing of this announcement shows that there is some political connection. The elections are around the corner. Particularly in the KZN, the ruling party is under siege after outcomes of the list conference. We are moving toward a dictatorship. History shows us that it begins with censorship of this nature."
According to Miya, the SABC was pandering to the ruling ANC after a ban on violent protest footage, a move also implemented by Motsoeneng.
"They are doing damage control for the ruling party. And the timing is coming, as the elections are around the corner. We do not accept this and we want people to say enough is enough. We are going back to the apartheid regime this way where everything is censored.”
Miya added this was not the first attempt by the SABC to censor "the truth".
“We must not forget the secrecy bill that they attempted to implement. That was giving government the right to dictate. Media must be free of politics and objectively report.”
Miya said the Right2Know campaign planned a peaceful march in KwaZulu-Natal.
"We have not yet settled on a date, but we will be marching to the SABC offices to hand a memorandum over soon."
There was no memorandum handed over in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday, Miya said.