EFF to march over banned advert

Julius Malema says EFF members will march to the SABC in Auckland Park next week.

A placard shown during an EFF election campaign advert calls on viewers to destroy e-toll gantries. The SABC banned the advert, saying this is incitement of violence. Picture: EFF/YouTube.

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on Tuesday said he will fight to have his party's election advertisement broadcast on television.

He says his members will march to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) offices in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

The national broadcaster refused to air the EFF's campaign video this weekend, saying it incites violence by calling on supporters to physically remove e-tolls.

In the one-minute advert, a woman describes losing her husband at the hands of the police.

Malema then tells viewers he understands the pain faced by South Africans and a series of written statements are shown at the end, including one which says, "Destroy e-tolls physically!"

The EFF leader says the comment is allowable under the constitutional guarantee to freedom of expression.

Malema is also adamant the EFF will indeed remove the gantries.

"We reiterate, without any fear of contradiction, that we shall physically destroy e-tolls to allow South Africans to use their roads without paying any additional money."

He says mass protest will take place next week until the advert is aired.

Malema also says the party will be taking legal action against the SABC, which he says is being influenced by the ANC.

"It's a clear indication of the ruling party's refusal for e-tolls to be on the agenda of these elections," he says.

The expelled ANC Youth League leader says the SABC has acted in the interests of his former party.

Malema says the advert simply shows what will happen due to e-tolling being undemocratically imposed on motorists.

But the SABC's Kaizer Kganyago says the broadcaster has every right not to air the advertisement.

"You cannot say to people that they must go and destroy e-tolls physically and expect that to be freedom of speech," he argues.

The EFF is the second party to square off against the SABC in recent days over the banning of adverts.

Last week, the SABC and the DA went head-to-head during a public hearing over a similar dispute.

The DA's Ayisafani advert was blocked as the SABC said a line about police killing citizens would incite violence against law enforcement officers.

The SABC said the ad was against its editorial policy, incited violence against police officers and attacked Zuma on the Nkandla scandal without giving him the right of reply.

But the broadcaster failed to convince regulators at the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), which dismissed the matter and issued an order for the SABC to resume playing the advert with immediate effect.