SABC to appear before Icasa over editorial policies

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As if the parliamentary inquiry was not enough, the SABC will have to face another challenge in Joburg when it appears before Icasa’s Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) tomorrow.

In October, the SOS Coalition and Media Monitoring Africa lodged a complaint with the CCC over the SABC’s revised editorial policy, the same one wherein the now unlawful ban on the display of violent public protest footage, is contained.

Other red-flag policies include:

  • the ban on reflecting the governing party and/or any politicians from the governing party in a negative light; and/or
  • the ban on reflecting the president in a negative light

These and others, according to the SOS Coalition and MMA, are irregular and unlawful as they are in contravention of section six of the Broadcasting Act, 1999.

The bodies also accuse the SABC of contravening section 16 of the act, by not allowing public participation via comments on the policies.

“We believe that it remains crucial to reverse the unlawful adoption of these policies through which the [SABC] board empowered and enabled [Hlaudi] Motsoeneng to continue his capture and destruction of our national public broadcaster,” the SOS Coalition said.

“It is of crucial importance that the boards and executives of all public institutions comply with the letter and spirit of the law in their conduct. This is more so in the case of the SABC which plays a direct and significant role in keeping our constitutional democracy alive through the provision of information services to the overwhelming majority of the people of South Africa. We cannot simply be spectators in the capture and hijacking of our public institutions, but must fight at all costs to protect and deepen our hard-won democracy.”

The matter will be heard at Icasa’s offices in Sandton at 9am tomorrow.