Action SA's Mashaba slams media houses over 'censorship' of election billboard

Herman Mashaba's party, Action SA, has released a billboard with names and faces of various political party leaders with labels such as criminal, crook and fraud next to their names. He said that the refusal by media houses to flight the billboard amounted to censorship.

A screenshot of Action SA's election billboard.

JOHANNESBURG - The election season has not reached fever pitch yet, but the new kid on the block, Action SA, is already crying foul.

Herman Mashaba’s political project accused media houses on Tuesday of refusing to flight an election campaign
billboard in which leaders of various parties were labelled as anarchists, criminal and divisive among others.

Mashaba said through a statement that the refusal to flight their campaign amounted to censorship.

“The aim of the billboard was not to target the individuals featured on our billboard, but rather to expose a political system that results in the selection of compromised candidates by political parties to serve in some of the highest public offices in the land.

"This system serves political parties instead of serving the people of South Africa. Despite the right to the freedom of speech entrenched in our Constitution, no less than six media owners refused to flight the billboard for fear of political reprisal, vandalism or defamation,” Mashaba said in a statement.

The controversial billboard features Democratic Alliance (DA) chairperson Helen Zille and Solly Msimanga, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, and from the African National Congress (ANC), Mashaba’s party targeted suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, Zandile Gumede, Geoff Makhubo and Bathabile Dlamini.

Meanwhile, political parties representing the named leaders in the Action SA billboard were contacted for comment. Eyewitness News received only one, saying that "commenting would give it traction."

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