‘ANC ordered SABC to stop covering EFF events ahead of 2014 election’

Spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says they raised issues about the alleged ban imposed on coverage of the EFF in 2014.

 FILE: The EFF National Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have made submissions at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) inquiry into editorial interference, claiming the public broadcaster was ordered by the African National Congress (ANC) to stop covering EFF events ahead of the 2014 elections.

The party appeared before the commission on Monday after the ANC made submissions last month, demanding more airtime from the SABC.

The ANC justified this by saying it’s the majority party.

The commission of inquiry was announced earlier this year and is being headed by former press ombudsman Joe Tlholoe.

Spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says they raised issues about the alleged ban imposed on coverage of the EFF in 2014.

“This particular ban was linked to the interest of the ANC, implemented - not just by itself - but by people like Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Mzwandile Mbeje who were at the centre of running political editorial desk at the time.”

The EFF has accused the ANC of being fascist by demanding more airtime on the SABC merely because it's the majority party.

The ANC wants more airtime from the SABC but Ndlozi says the public broadcaster must concern itself with covering political events that are newsworthy.

“They mustn’t confuse Icasa’s allocation of timeslots in relation to political advertisement during elections.”

He says by virtue of demanding more airtime, the ANC is interfering editorially.

“If you don’t do anything that is interesting or newsworthy, you cannot force the public broadcaster to cover you. It’s actually very fascist.”

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)