South Africa’s official opposition party is happy with ICASA’s ruling against SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s decision to ban airing of footage of violent protests on SABC TV channels.
ICASA (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) ordered SABC to withdraw the decision, and gave SABC 7-days to respond to whether it will comply with the order.
DA said ICASA’s ruling is a victory for press freedom. The party urged SABC to implement the order immediately, and avoid wasting public funds on ‘frivolous litigation’.
With that, DA asserted that change is urgently needed at the SABC. It highlighted the under-listed saying they are the steps to be implemented in line with ICASA’s ruling.
- Suspend SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng and institute an independent and impartial disciplinary inquiry into Motsoeneng’s fitness to hold office;
- Suspend the SABC’s non-executive board members and Chairperson, Mbulayeni Maguvhe for failing in its duties to hold the SABC’s management accountable;
- Suspended Acting CEO, and CFO of the SABC, James Aguma for providing financial backing for Motsoeneng’s censorship project;
- Drop the disciplinary charges against the SABC staffers suspended for speaking out against Motsoeneng;
- Advertise the positions of SABC COO and CFO requiring suitably qualified and impartial broadcasting professionals to head the SABC;
- Allow the Portfolio Committee on Communications to interview candidates to serve as an Interim board until a new board is appointed;
- Provide full disclosure for the reasons for the suspension of SABC CEO, Frans Matlala in November 2015;
- Reverse the approval of the SABC’s revised editorial policy, and conduct public consultation. It is the revised policy which gives SABC COO total control over the public broadcaster;
- Drop the SCA petition appealing the Western Cape High Court’s decision. The court had originally found that Motsoeneng’s appointment SABC COO was irrational and unlawful and thus set it aside;
- Implement the remedial action required by the Public Protector;
- Reverse the ban on the reading of newspaper headlines on SABC radio and TV stations;
- Reverse the canning of “The Editors” on SAFM;
- Reverse the canning of “Kommentaar”on RSG;
- Commit to providing equitable and fair coverage of all political parties on SABC stations ahead of the local government election;
- Fire Faith Muthambi for failing to conduct proper oversight over the SABC.
Read Also: SABC Censored ANC AS Well, True Or False?
According to the opposing party, these are only the first steps that need to be taken to fix the public broadcaster as much more needs to be done to restore the integrity of the SABC.