SABC has until Monday to oppose Media Monitoring Africa complaint

The SABC announced last month it would no longer air footage of protesters destroying public property.

Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has given the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) until Monday to oppose a complaint by Media Monitoring Africa against its new broadcasting policy.

Last month, the SABC decided it would no longer air footage of protesters destroying public property, arguing that it might encourage others to follow suit.

Media Monitoring Africa believes this is a clear form of censorship.

Icasa has agreed with Media Monitoring Africa, which laid the complaint two weeks ago, that the matter is urgent.

LISTEN: SABC explains decision to halt broadcasts of violent protests

Media Monitoring Africa's William Bird says it is important, especially in an election year, that the media is not censored.

"We are dealing with issues that affect fundamentally the proper functioning of the SABC, but it's imperative that the matter is addressed and we get this decision reversed."

Last month, SABC Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said journalists would still cover violent protests, but the SABC would not air the footage of people destroying public property.

Media Monitoring Africa says it wants clarity from the SABC regarding the guidelines of its new broadcasting policy.