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‘ANC just as clueless as the public over SABC censorship’

The ANC has described the decision not to broadcast violent images at protests as unintelligent.

A sign outside the offices of the South African Broadcasting Corporation in Johannesburg. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) says it believes the South African Broadcasting Corporation's (SABC) failure to consult it on policy changes being introduced is a sign of disregard.

Speaking at Luthuli House, ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu addressed developments at the public broadcaster and media freedom.

The ANC says it believes it should have been notified about changes made at the broadcaster, because it's the ruling party.

LISTEN: #BlackFriday: Fight for free media unites SA journalists

In May, the SABC implemented a new editorial policy to scrap the broadcasting of violent images during protests.

Mthembu says the ANC is just as clueless as the rest of the country about why the SABC introduced editorial changes.

Mthembu has described the decision not to broadcast violent images at protests as 'unintelligent'.

"There is nobody in South Africa who needs somebody else to decide [for them] which pictures must they see."

He says while the ANC doesn't condone the burning of property, South Africans have the right to be shown the truth as it is.

He says taking a decision not to show the truth is censorship.

The chief whip has slammed what he calls a lack of leadership at the SABC.

Mthembu says the party's communications committee met to discuss the matter.

"This is the freedom we fought for, to watch everything [that we want]."

He says the ruling party has asked to meet Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.

"We can't say, sitting here, without having received a report from the minister: how did this ban come about in the first place, who offered this ban and who is responsible for this?"

LISTEN: Is this the beginning of the end for the SABC?

Meanwhile, head of the South African Music Moment Don Laka says their support for SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng does not mean they also support censorship.

Yesterday, his organisation held a press conference to express their support for Motsoeneng, following his decision that SABC radio stations would have a 90 percent local music quota.

Laka had been campaigning for such a quota, saying local artists were not being given a proper hearing.

But Laka says that doesn't mean they agree with Motsoeneng's decisions around censoring images of destructive protests.

"We never said censorship is good for anyone; I was censored a while ago while fighting the cause to trying to get the voice across via Facebook. I would never support any censorship."

LISTEN: Artist Don Laka explains his support for SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng

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