CALL TO PROTEST AGAINST SABC FOR CENSORSHIP OF PROTEST ACTION
Dear Comrades, Friends and concerned South Africans,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CALL TO PROTEST AGAINST SABC FOR CENSORSHIP OF PROTEST ACTION
On 2 June 2016, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), together with SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition (SOS) and the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), lodged a formal complaint with ICASA over the SABC’s ban on visuals of the destruction of property in protests across its news and current affairs bulletins.
“We believe the decision to be unlawful and is a clear violation of the Broadcasting Act, the SABC’s licence conditions and the SABC’s revised editorial policies,” said William Bird, Director of media watchdog, MMA, in a statement.
“As the FXI, we too are concerned about the impact the decision will have for ordinary South Africans and their right to freedom of expression and access to information,” added Sheniece Linderboom, head of the FXI Law Clinic. “Not only does the banning take us back to an SABC of the 80’s in which protests against the illegitimate apartheid government and abuse of State power by police and security forces, but it is also fundamentally flawed in its reasoning.”
ICASA’s Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) has heard our demand for it to adjudicate on the SABC’s violation of its statutory duty and licensing conditions in this regard, and the matter will be heard on an urgent basis on:
Date: 24 June 2016
Time: 12 pm
Place: Pinmill Farm
Blocks C, Pinmill Farm
164 Katherine Street
While the CCC’s decision to hear this matter on an urgent basis is an important move in the right direction, this is not enough. We need a visible presence of us, the owners of our national public broadcaster, the SABC, at the ICASA offices to show the CCC that a significant number of the people of South Africa find Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s decision as not only unlawful, but detestable and anti-democratic. This is especially important now because we are in an election year where 7 million of the 12 million households that own a TV rely exclusively on the SABC for their information needs which will inform which parties they will vote for in the imminent local government elections.
We call upon your support. Join our picket outside ICASA on Friday 24 June 2016 at 12 pm.
Bring your family, friends and members of your communities too. Let’s show ICASA and the SABC that people’s power must and will prevail over Motsoeneng’s anti-democratic and apartheid style censorship and abuse of power in our SABC.
William Bird (MMA)
082 887 1370
Shaniece Linderboom (FXI)
Sekoetlane Phamodi (SOS)
076 084 8077