Organisations lodge complaints over SABC's 'one-sided' Ace Magashule interview

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Ace Magashule on the campaign trail in Soweto. Picture: Rosetta Msimango
Ace Magashule on the campaign trail in Soweto. Picture: Rosetta Msimango
  • Media Monitoring Africa and Support Public Broadcasting Coalition have lodged complaints against the SABC.
  • This follows a controversial interview with ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.
  • According to the organisations, the interview was one-sided.

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) and the SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition (SOS) have lodged complaints over an SABC interview with ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, describing it as "one-sided" and "self-interested".

The two not-for-profit organisations have lodged the complaints with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA), the Press Council of South Africa and the SABC itself.

The interview was conducted by two SABC journalists on 18 November and was initially broadcast on the show The Full View.

In letters to each of the three bodies, SOS national coordinator Duduetsang Makuse and MMA director William Bird said the journalists violated the BCCSA's codes of conduct, the Press Code and the SABC's editorial policies.

ALSO READ | Ace steps aside, or gets pushed: New legal opinion demands ANC must act against him

In the letter to the Press Council, Makuse and Bird claim the public broadcaster violated, among others, the following clauses:

  • Clause 1.1 of the Press Code, which requires the media to report news truthfully, accurately and fairly;
  • Clause 1.2 which requires news to be presented in context and in a balanced manner without any intentional or negligent departure from the facts, whether by distortion, exaggeration or misrepresentation, material omissions, or summarisation.

Writing to the SABC's general manager for policy and regulatory affairs, SOS and MMA state that the journalists also went against clause 5.3.2 "which requires the SABC to not allow… political, state… and personal considerations to influence the SABC's editorial decisions".

In the interview about retrenchments at the SABC, Magashule said that he didn't know why some of the board members were so "intransigent".

"I think they show some arrogance," he said.

"I don't know why they are arrogant, because it is clear what they want to do is to commercialise [and] privatise the SABC, which is against the ANC position."

The organisation said that in their view, the interview published online transgressed each and all of the above clauses of the code in that it was conducted in a manner that made it clear that the journalists were not complying with the requirements of the code.

The groups added that the "one-sided, self-interested interview style and inflammatory language used by the interviewers" undermine the Press Code, the BCCSA's codes of conduct and the SABC's editorial policies.

"We think that even if it could be argued that the broadcast constituted 'comment' which is, in our view, doubtful, given the fact that it is an in-depth interview with the ruling party’s secretary-general on what was a breaking news topic, the commentary was not made on facts truly stated or fairly indicated and referred to as required in terms of the code."

News24 reached out to the SABC for comment over two days. The broadcaster is yet to respond. Comment will be added once received.

Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Will you continue to use WhatsApp following the company announcing a change terms of service which would force users to share personal data?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the terms of service do not bother me enough to switch
52% - 6890 votes
No, I will be switching over to a new service
44% - 5898 votes
I've never used WhatsApp
4% - 541 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.16
(+0.11)
ZAR/GBP
20.59
(-0.05)
ZAR/EUR
18.30
(+0.01)
ZAR/AUD
11.68
(-0.59)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.02)
Gold
1828.12
(+0.05)
Silver
24.75
(+0.09)
Platinum
1070.99
(+0.29)
Brent Crude
54.89
(-2.34)
Palladium
2377.00
(+0.59)
All Share
63549.75
(-0.52)
Top 40
58446.35
(-0.49)
Financial 15
11916.89
(+0.01)
Industrial 25
83811.01
(+0.08)
Resource 10
63855.25
(-1.46)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo