ANC calls for debate around role of media covering violent protests

Yesterday, the SABC announced a decision to no longer broadcast visuals of public violence during protests.

Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - While opposition parties have condemned the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)'s decision to not show any visuals of public property being destroyed during protests, the African National Congress (ANC) has called for a debate around the role of media and its responsibility to promote social-cohesion, and not incite violence.

The ruling party welcomed the national broadcaster's announcement yesterday.

The SABC maintains the move is not self-censorship, but rather a duty to ensure that such footage doesn't encourage others to follow suit.

The ruling party's Zizi Kodwa says the public broadcaster has made the right call and is showing ' responsible journalism'.

"The question that the media must answer is, what role are we playing to ensure that we deal with this phenomenon that seeks to undermine the progress we have made? The destruction of our infrastructure, the schools and social infrastructure - what role is the media playing in that regard?"

LISTEN: SABC explains decision to halt broadcasts of violent protests

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says the SABC should also stop showing all violent movies.

Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says, "Films show people murdering each other and all types of social ills. Why don't they just go on and burn all those other films on TV. If showing destruction of property incites the destruction of property, then stop showing murder, stop showing rape."

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it's considering its legal options while the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and Congress of the People (Cope) have strongly condemned the move as censorship.

The ANC is the only political party to welcome the decision.