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DA calls for changes to SABC editorial policy

The party says it's no secret that the governing party has used 'undue political influence' in an attempt to turn the SABC into its mouthpiece.

FILE: Phumzile van Damme. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has made its submission to the South African Broadcasting Corporation's (SABC) commission of inquiry and has called for changes to the public broadcaster’s editorial policy.

The party says it is no secret that the governing party has used “undue political influence” in an attempt to turn the SABC into its mouthpiece.

The commission is chaired by the Press Council’s executive director Joe Thloloe and will look into political and editorial interference at the state broadcaster between 2012 and 2018.

The SABC announced in May that the commission would investigate the veracity of claims of political and editorial interference in the newsroom.

As part of its submission, the DA has also proposed the removal of upward referral where important editorial matters are elevated to the Group CEO, saying the head of nNews, a journalist, should be made editor-in-chief.

DA Member of Parliament Phumzile van Damme said: “Our submissions focus primarily on the SABC’s editorial policies, specifically for coverage of political parties during the elections. We propose that major political parties should be afforded critical coverage.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters, the country’s third biggest party, has already made its submission, claiming it has been marginalised as an opposition political party.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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