SABC reprimanded over one-sided TRC broadcast

The SABC was reprimanded for broadcasting an unbalanced report, creating the impression that only the security forces committed atrocities during the struggle against apartheid.

The SABC was reprimanded for broadcasting an unbalanced report, creating the impression that only the security forces committed atrocities during the struggle against apartheid.

"The tribunal is of the view that one-sided impressions were created in the programme, which are to the detriment of the security force officers," the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA said in a statement yesterday. This does not mean that we are of the opinion that these officers were innocent of any atrocities. They (or some of them) admitted to such atrocities."

The programme also created the impression that the security officers tried to prevent their victims from giving evidence against them at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the tribunal found.

The complaint, brought by the Foundation for Equality, concerned the first of two programmes commemorating the 10th anniversary of the TRC, broadcast on Special Assignment on November 18 2008.

The tribunal found the SABC had contravened the broadcasting code of conduct pertaining to controversial issues of public importance.

The foundation complained that the programme disregarded acts of terror committed by the ANC or other organisations.

The tribunal found that although images were shown of black perpetrators of violence, these were "fleeting", had no voice-overs and included portrayals of IFP followers, who "were not usually associated with acts of terrorism".

Young people born after 1994 would not be familiar with the Winnie Mandela United Football Club or know of the conviction of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela for assault and as an accessory after the death of Stompie Seipei. "The same young person would also not understand the extent of the connection between Inkatha and the atrocities associated with the armed struggle." - Sapa

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