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SABC denies censoring claims

The national broadcaster is accused of blocking reports on Numsa’s call for the president to resign.

The national broadcaster is accused of blocking reports on Numsa’s call for the president to resign. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) on Tuesday denied claims they censored their journalists from reporting on calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign.

The Right2Know (R2K) Campaign says the public broadcaster prevented journalists from reporting on the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa)'s call for the president to step down.

The call was made during the last day of the union's special congress last week.

Numsa also announced it would withdraw its support for the ruling ANC and asked the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) to abandon the tripartite alliance.

R2K says politically motivated interference in editorial independence at the SABC makes a mockery of the principle of freedom of expression in the media.

The campaign's Mark Weinberg says they got their information from the Broadcast, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers' Union (Bemawu).

"We heard from Bemawu that journalists there [at the SABC] had been instructed not report on any calls for the resignation of President Zuma and not to do any critical or negative reporting on the president at all."

But SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago labelled the claims "ridiculous," saying the broadcaster merely ordered that both sides of the story be represented.