SABC ‘censors’ negative Zuma reporting


Employees at the SABC have been instructed not to broadcast any reports on calls for president Jacob Zuma to step down, the Right2Know (R2K) campaign and SOS Coalition claimed on Tuesday.

This was simply the latest case of politically motivated interference in editorial independence at the public broadcaster, R2K spokesman Mark Weinberg said in a statement.

“It makes a mockery of the principle of freedom of expression in the media and amongst citizens generally,” he said.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago denied the claim.

“There was no such instruction. People just interpreted things their own way. [The journalists] were told not to punt one side of the story [but] to balance it.” he said.

“They spent a long time [reporting on] one side of the story without calling to get views from the other [Zuma's] side.”

Weinberg said the Broadcast, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers’ Union (Bemawu) had made the organisations aware of what was happening at the SABC.

He said that, according to Bemawu, some of its members at the SABC were given the instruction on Friday, when they returned from the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) conference at which calls for Zuma’s resignation were made.

“Such conduct weakens the institution, leaving media workers who are committed to editorial independence vulnerable to political intimidation,” Weinberg said.

Bemawu could not be reached for comment.

Earlier this month, City Press reported that the SABC had banned broadcasts of the booing of President Jacob Zuma at the memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela.

The crowd booed when Zuma arrived at FNB Stadium, in Johannesburg, and every time his face was shown on the big screen.

This could be seen by viewers of the SABC’s live broadcast of the memorial.

The newspaper said that it learnt from six independent sources, including field reporters, producers and technical crew in the SABC’s news division, that an instruction was given to ban broadcasts of the booing.  — Sapa

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  • Davebee

    So when is City Press laying a formal complaint with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA?
    If there was a formal request/order by the SABC to censor bad news about Zuma then the senior editorial/newsroom staffers at SABC should be suspended until the BCCSA has completed an investigation, simple.
    In fact as a tax payer funded organization they are in breach of their job descriptions and code of conduct and should actually be DISMISSED over this.
    Over to you Ms Shinn.

  • Chris

    If they stop reporting on the negative about Zuma, we will only be left with reruns of A-Team and other shit that we watched in the 1980′s! Report what you are suppose to report SABC and stop being the lapdog of the cANCer!

  • John

    This is typical of this government.Maybe we should stop paying our TV licenses seeing as not all of us support the current government who have the SABC as their lap dog.

  • Peter Walsh

    you pay your TV license?

  • MelcolmX

    Ha..ha.. a free democracy! “Impeach the the mental midget” Prepare for the next 4 years of overflowing sewer system. SABC=Putin. “Don’t ask what your country can do for you? what you can do for your country!

  • Joe Black

    Oh bravo! Well done. What a nice country you are making.

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