Sanef calls on SABC to review new policy on violent protests

The Editors Forum says the policy protects politicians from being accountable to their constituencies.

FILE:  South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has urged the South African Broadcasting Corporation's (SABC) to review its new editorial policy saying it will protect politicians from being accountable to their constituencies.

Yesterday, the national broadcaster announced it would no longer broadcast the destruction of property during protests and has insisted that this is not self-censorship.

It has argued that showing violent protests incite others to do the same.

Opposition parties have accused the SABC of protecting the African National Congress (ANC) by not showing South Africans' violent public dissent against the party.

Sanef's Mpumelelo Mkhabela says there is no evidence to substantiate the SABC's latest decision.

"Everyone will be sitting at home, thinking there are no problems in the country because nobody is broadcasting those problems, and the problems will actually get worse."

He says this new policy will prevent journalists at the SABC from doing their jobs with integrity.

"They have to work professionally, in a very balanced, accurate and fair manner, to tell all sides of the South African story - not to take up emotional decisions or peoples' perceptions of what may be causing the violence."

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

LISTEN: SABC explains decision to halt broadcasts of violent protests