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ANC expected to tell minister to act against SABC board

The ANC said it was time to divorce the board after it insisted on banning images of violent protests.

FILE: Communication Minister, Faith Muthambi. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress's (ANC) communications commission is expected to tell Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to take strong action against the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board during their meeting with her today.

Last week, the party said it was time to divorce the board after it insisted on banning images of violent and destructive protests.

Muthambi has made no public comment on this issue, despite the fact it sees her party in an angry public dispute with the board she has political responsibility for.

Last week, ANC communications chairperson, Jackson Mthembu, showed his anger with the board

But Muthambi has defied her own commission in the past.

Last year, the same commission ordered her to implement encrypted digital terrestrial television but she went ahead and implemented an unencrypted system.

EDITORIAL DECISIONS THAT THREATEN MEDIA FREEDOM

Last week, the ANC said it was sorry if previous statements it had issued on changes to the SABC editorial policy had created confusion about its stance.

The party said the stance it communicated then, condemning censorship at the SABC, was its final position on the matter.

The ANC's Jackson Mthembu said the ANC would never support any editorial decisions that threaten media freedom.

"Editorial decisions by the SABC, that in anyway limit these freedoms, can never be sanctioned by the ANC."

He apologised on behalf of the party, if earlier statements had caused confusion.

"If indeed there's been some crossing of lines in-between and amongst ourselves, well, let's apologise for that. But this is the ANC's statement."

The ANC said it always fights for a free South African media with a public mandate, and won't allow the SABC to decay.