'Stop this language apartheid'

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Sepedi and Xitsonga speakers in Mpumalanga have accused the provincial government of broadcasting official speeches to Nguni speakers only.

The two "tribes" accuse the Mpumalanga government of "language discrimination" after a number of MECs' speeches were broadcast only on Ikwekwezi and Ligwalagwala radio stations. The stations broadcast in isiNdebele and isiSwati.

The SABC said it was not their fault since the government did not buy airtime for other tribes.

"We send our reporters for outside broadcast only if approached, and this time only Ikwekwezi and Ligwalagwala FM were approached," said SABC spokesman, Kaizer Kganyago.

The complaints come in the wake of current policy and budget speeches taking place in the province.

Yesterday Sowetan received a complaint from a traditional leader who accused the government of isolating other "tribes".

This follows the announcement that the budget speech of the department of local government and housing would only be broadcast on Ligwalagwala and Ikwekwezi.

The chief, who asked not to be named, said: "Many people [who speak Sepedi] in my area are angry and think that the Mpumalanga government does not recognise them," he said.

"We will do something about it," was all provincial government spokesman Lebona Mosia was prepared to say when Sowetan contacted him.