EFF: SABC is protecting the ANC by not airing violent protests

The SABC says these criminal acts being shown on TV 'promote and incite' violence.

FILE: A bus was set alight and roads blocked in Hammanskraal following service delivery protests in the area this week. Picture: Arrive Alive.

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters(EFF) says the South African Broadcasting Corporation' s (SABC) decision to stop broadcasting visuals of property being destroyed by protesters is simply a strategy to protect the image of the African National Congress(ANC) government.

The public broadcaster announced earlier today that it would no longer show property being destroyed during service delivery protesters, but insisted this did not amount to censorship.

The SABC says these criminal acts being shown on TV "promote" and incite violence.

LISTEN: SABC's Motseoneng on new policy not to screen protest visuals

The SABC's Hlaudi Motsoeneng says the decision to not show property being destroyed is part of "responsible journalism".

"When people see cameras, they start burning property."

But the EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi strongly disagrees.

"The decision in essence, and we know for a fact, has to do with protecting ANC and not showing public dissent against it."

The ANC, however, says it commends the national broadcaster's decision, saying it is educating citizens.

At the same time, the ANC says the SABC has not been influenced by anyone when making editorial decisions about what to broadcast on TV, adding the latest move is a responsible one.

The ANC's Zizi Kodwa says the SABC has made the right call.

"The national broadcaster has taken this decision not influenced by anybody outside, but by its own editorial policy. I think it has to be appreciated as there is a growing phenomenon of people destroying property and because we are showing that as if we are showing a movie, and yet it is destroying the very same shelter of a nation we seek to build."

Opposition parties have condemned the decision saying it amounts to self-censorship.