SABC to explain reasons behind decision on broadcasting violent protests

The SABC has been given until today to oppose a formal complaint made by Media Monitoring Africa.

Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it will make a submission to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) by today, to explain the reasoning behind its decision not to broadcast images of state property being destroyed during protests.

The SABC has been given until today to oppose a formal complaint made my Media Monitoring Africa.

The lobby group believes the decision made by the broadcaster is a clear form of censorship, and must be reviewed.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago says the broadcaster will comply with Icasa's requirements.

Earlier this month, the communications authority decided the editorial decision made by the SABC should be addressed urgently.

Media Monitoring Africa says the stance the SABC has taken is detrimental, particularly during an election year.

But the broadcaster says it has a duty to be responsible in its coverage and says it doesn't want to show images that may incite public violence.

PROTESTS

At the same time, the Right2Know Campaign will stage protests outside the SABC's offices in several provinces today, over what it's calling the broadcaster's attempts to 'censor the news'.

The organisation has also called on SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng to lift the ban on broadcasting images of destructive demonstrations.

The organisation's Busi Mtabane says, "We feel that the COO's authoritarian stance is a serious threat to our public broadcaster."

Mtabane says, "Its independence is being undermined by political interference and management has no respect for editorial integrity."