SOS Coalition to continue challenging SABC editorial policy

The coalition wants the SABC to limit Hlaudi Motsoeneng's influence on editorial decisions.

FILE: SABC headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The SOS Coalition said that while it was happy about the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa's (Icasa) ruling calling on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to reverse its ban on violent protest footage, it would still be challenging the broadcaster to change its editorial policy.

The organisation said that it wanted the SABC to amend the amount of influence COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has in making editorial decisions in newsrooms.

According to the coalition, interference by the COO is what resulted in the banning of footage showing public property being destroyed at protests.

Sekoetlane Phamodi of the SOS Coalition said that South Africans were not given a chance to comment on editorial policy changes at the SABC.

"It's this kind of edict that was issued by Mr Motsoeneng to ban protests visual, was itself premised on the editorial policies."

He said that the organisation now wanted to see an intervention at the SABC that would also address the amount of influence the COO had on journalistic issues.

The SABC, however, said it would not be implementing the recommendations made by Icasa which calls for a reversal of its ban on violent protest visuals and would be going to court to have the matter addressed.

Meanwhile, the broadcaster also said that while it views Icasa's recommendations, it had to take the matter up for review.

The SABC said it was not guilty of censorship and that was why it would be challenging Icasa's decision.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: "The mere fact that Icasa has looked into it doesn't necessarily mean they are correct. That is why we have this path, that is part of the process, to say if we do not agree we can review."