DA threatens Icasa with court action

The Democratic Alliance is set to go to court to compel communications watchdog Icasa to hear its complaint against the SABC.

Helen Zille (image: World Economic Forum)

Helen Zille (image: World Economic Forum)

The Democratic Alliance is set to go to court to compel communications watchdog Icasa to hear its complaint against the SABC over the broadcaster’s pulling of one of its election advertisements.

Icasa had not fulfilled its regulatory and constitutional obligations with regards to the handling of the DA’s complaint, party leader Helen Zille said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The unavoidable impression we are left with is that Icasa is trying to deliberately delay dealing with this complaint so that the DA’s election adverts are kept off the air for longer,” she said.

This was clearly prejudicial to the DA’s election efforts, and only served to advantage the ANC.

The DA had submitted a complaint to Icasa regarding the decision by the SABC to “censor the DA’s television and radio adverts”.

The reasons supplied for the decision were spurious.

“We could not let their censorship stand and so we submitted our complaint to Icasa on Saturday afternoon.”

In terms of regulations, Icasa was required to give a decision on the complaint within 48 hours.

Following further communication with Icasa, the authority had said on Monday night it could not commit to reach a decision by close of business. An Icasa hearing has been set for Thursday.

“This is completely unacceptable to the DA. We will today approach the South Gauteng high court seeking an urgent order to compel Icasa to hear the matter, and to reach a decision on the matter, without any further delay.”  — Sapa

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