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Fret over SABC’s muting of Malema - expert

Experts say the meddling by bosses at the SABC to keep reports about Julius Malema at bay is bad news.

Former ANC Youth League President Julius Malema. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Experts say the interference by management at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), to keep reports about Julius Malema at bay, is bad news for the country's citizens.

Superiors at the public broadcaster on Monday instructed a radio presenter to cancel a scheduled interview with the former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader.

Malema has again become the media darling he once was - being interviewed by international channels such as the British Broadcasting Corporation, Sky News and CNN International.

His new found role in the crisis at Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West and other Gauteng mines has given him plenty of airtime, to the discontent of his detractors.

When SABC radio station Metro FM scheduled an interview with him on a popular evening show, the presenter received a text message instructing her to cancel it.

The channel's head of news, Jimi Matthews, has reportedly edited out clips with Malema on from news bulletins.

Carol Mohlala, from Save our SABC coalition, says this is a source of concern.

"As South Africans, we should be worried that the public broadcaster is silencing different political views."

Malema has been on a tour of mines in recent weeks, urging miners to down tools until management consents to pay them higher salaries.

He has told miners government is not concerned with their poor living conditions.

And further accused President Jacob Zuma and other senior ANC members of metaphorically sleeping in bed with mine shareholders.

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