Media watchdog file complaint against SABC for violent protest ban

Published On June 8, 2016 | By SOS Coordinator | Media / Press Release

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) has lodged a formal complaint with Icasa over the SABC’s ban on violent protest footage across its news and current affairs bulletins.

The South African media watchdog lodged the complaint together with the SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition (SOSA) and the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) late yesterday afternoon.

“We believe the decision to be unlawful and in clear violation of the Broadcasting Act, the SABC’s licence conditions and the SABC’s revised editorial policies,” William Bird, Director of MMA said in a statement.

“The SABC seems dead set against the possibility of changing their mind, which is why we have opted to go the route of a legal challenge to the Complaints Compliance Committee,” he said.

Bird added that, given the gravity of the issue, MMA would’ve hoped for a clearly argued principle backed up by strong supporting evidence for the drastic decision, instead all the SABC has given is have hubris and confusion.

“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, it is also afundamentally  flawed reasoning.”

The DA had initially said it’s considering taking the public broadcaster to court, but has instead said it is supporting civil society in the broadcast sector “who have fully seized the matter”.

The MMA asked that the matter be heard by Icasa on urgently, seeing as the ban was exacted with immediate effect.

By: Lungelo Sheri, 3 June 2016.

Image: Daniel Born, 2012.

Issued on behalf of SOS & MMA & FXI

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About The Author

Duduetsang is an avid digital media lover and lifelong scholar who is fascinated by the dynamic media space. Duduetsang had her formal training in television journalism at the University currently known as Rhodes, and has various experiences in broadcast media production and corporate communications. She completed her MBA in Media Management at Cardiff University. Her activist discontents include socio-economic and gender based inequality and sexual violence while her intellectual interests lie in media strategy, policy and development in the convergent, digital era, especially in the African context. She joined SOS as a Project Coordinator and recently took over as the National Coordinator.

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