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SABC to explain itself to Icasa

The SABC is expected to explain its decision to can a debate on Mangaung to Icasa.

The SABC is expected to explain its decision to can a debate on Mangaung to Icasa.

JOHANNESBURG - Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on Saturday said it was awaiting a detailed report from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in its bid to find answers to why the public broadcaster canned a Metro FM discussion.

It emerged that three political commentators had already arrived in Auckland Park for the interview on the ANC Mangaung conference when management pulled the plug on the show on Tuesday.

Talk show host Sakina Kamwendo was meant to discuss the issue with print journalists Sam Mkokeli, S'thembiso Msomi and Andrew England.

Kamwendo came out and told the journalists that her "boss" had called and "instructed" her to cancel the debate.

The SABC defended its decision saying the show was not balanced because the ANC was not invited to the debate.

After the incident made headlines, Icasa announced it would probe whether the SABC's action had violated the terms of its license.

The regulator's Jubie Matlou said, "We wrote to the SABC to give us the facts surrounding this issue. We've given the SABC up to next Tuesday to respond to us."

Meanwhile, it has also emerged the national broadcaster tried to can another show on SAFM.

The broadcaster was concerned that the ANC was not part of a panel on Siki Mgabadeli's show.

However, the show went ahead with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) President Sdumo Dlamini and two analysts.

Mgabadeli resigned from her position in November and did her last show on Friday.

She insists her resignation had nothing to do with this development.

This comes just weeks ahead of the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung.

The ruling party is expected to re-elect President Jacob Zuma as its leader while the ANC Youth League, Gauteng and Western Cape have nominated his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe for the position.

Motlanthe has not indicated whether he will accept the nomination.

Earlier this week, the Democratic Alliance (DA) game Zuma an "F" for his governance.

The opposition said Zuma had failed to lead and they preferred Motlanthe to take over.

They cited the Marika shooting and the Nkandla scandal as their reasons.

At least 45 people were killed during violent protest in Marikana in August.

Many people criticised the president for his late response to the bloodbath.

Recently, Zuma came under fire for the development which is estimated at over R200 million at his home.