SABC maintains it complied with Icasa ruling over protest footage

Icasa councillor Nomvuyiso Batyi says the regulator has received no proof that the ban on violent protest footage has been lifted.

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CAPE TOWN - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) insists it has complied with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s ruling that it reverse its ban on airing visuals of violent protests, signalling a possible stand-off with the broadcast regulator.

Icasa has laid criminal charges against the broadcaster. It says it has yet to receive proof the SABC has abided by its order.

Controversial former SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng announced the move last May, saying airing footage of protests would encourage others to also destroy property.

Icasa ruled in July that the ban be lifted.

But Parliament’s communications committee was told on Tuesday that the SABC had failed to submit evidence that it had complied.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago says the SABC has complied with Icasa’s directive.

“These are the engagements that they needed to have made with us if there’s anything that they needed further than that. Because, for us, it was very simple when you write to us that you’ve made a ruling and we write back to say we accept the ruling. What is ambiguous about that?”

Icasa councillor Nomvuyiso Batyi says the regulator has received no proof that the ban on violent protest footage has been lifted.

While Icasa has the power to suspend a broadcaster’s licence for up to 30 days, she says this step would only be taken in the case of repeated, serious violations of the Icasa Act.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)