SABC will no longer broadcast footage of violent protests

The broadcaster will no longer show footage of the burning of public institutions in any of its bulletins.

Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has taken a decision not to publicise any content displaying violent service delivery protests in various parts of the country.

In a statement, the SABC has condemned the acts of public and private property vandalism and has made a decision that it will not show footage of people burning public institutions, like schools, in any of its news bulletins, with immediate effect.

"We are not going to provide publicity to such actions that are destructive and regressive," the statement said.

The statement said the recent violent protests and vandalism are regrettable and viewed as regressive on the developments made after 22 years of South Africa's democracy.

However, the public broadcaster reiterated that it will continue to cover news without fear or favour.

"We will not cover people who are destroying public property."

The SABC's Chief Operations Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng has stated that "It is regrettable that these actions are disrupting many lives and as a responsible public institution we will not assist these individuals to push their agenda that seeks media attention."

"As a public service broadcaster we have a mandate to educate the citizens, and we therefore have taken this bold decision to show that violent protests are not necessary."

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Motsoeneng has encouraged citizens to protest peacefully without destroying the very same institutions that are needed to restore their dignity.

The public broadcaster's spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago says reporters will still be deployed to cover the violent protests.

"We'll not show footage of people who are burning property, in order to discourage them from thinking that they can just attract our attention by burning those properties. We believe that behaviour is disruptive."

Meanwhile, Motsoeneng has labelled this a bold decision, and has said he views it as the public broadcaster's responsibility to educate citizens.

Kganyago says by not showing footage of protesters vandalising state property, the SABC will be able to decrease the number of violent protests.

"We'll cover that there's this protest happening but we'll just shy away from encouraging people to think that when they burn property they will attract our attention."