South Africa’s official opposition party said SABC has again, refused to air their election ads. The refusal to air DA’s election Ads according to the party, is the “latest example in a string of cases that patently illustrate how” the public broadcaster has been hijacked.
BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that SABC told DA that it has no available slots for political advertisements at the moment due to delays in the IEC’s work with respect to the elections.
DA however, believes the excuse is “nothing but a poor excuse by the SABC in order to censor the DA’s political advertisement” which “has become standard during election time.”
The party said they and other political parties are well within their rights to air party political advertisements at this time as the election date has been proclaimed.
With that, the party said they’ll be lodging a formal complaint with ICASA to stop SABC’s abuse of power attempting to censor them and protect the ruling party from criticism.
DA argued that:
“In terms of Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) municipal election regulations, political parties are allowed to broadcast political advertisements during the ‘election period’.
The election period is defined in the regulations as ‘the period commencing with the date on which the election day is proclaimed…’. The election was proclaimed by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Des van Rooyen, on 23 May 2016 meaning that, in terms of the law, South Africa is in election period and political parties are allowed to have their political advertisements broadcast.
The commencement of the election period and the right of political parties to air their advertisements has been acknowledged by all other television and radio stations…The SABC is the only broadcaster that refuses to air the DA’s election Ads.”
“The DA will not stand idly by while the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression is assaulted. South Africans will see through this thinly veiled ploy not to show the DA’s offer, which hinges on stopping corruption, creates jobs and delivering better services for all,” the party asserted.