'No special favours for ANC' - SABC

The SABC in Auckland Park, Joburg. /Waldo Swiegers
SABC The SABC in Auckland Park, Joburg. /Waldo Swiegers
Image: Waldo Swiegers

The ANC is not receiving special treatment from the SABC; this is according to the broadcaster’s spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.

The public broadcaster came under attack from the DA and members of the public for running airing the address by President Cyril Ramaphosa following the conclusion of the ANC’s two-day Lekgotla at Irene in Pretoria.

In the address, Ramaphosa took the public through the decisions that were taken by his party on the land question.

He said that the ANC had decided to amend section 25 of the Constitution so it speaks directly to expropriation of land without compensation.

The six-minute long address that was broadcast just after 10pm on Tuesday evening raised a lot questions. Some of the questions were around whether the ANC is using SABC as its special mouthpiece.

Sam Mkokeli on Twitter said: “Mr Ramaphosa erred when he used the public broadcaster to communicate results of ANC pontification. The SABC ought to be an independent public institution that serves all S Africans and not allow itself to be used an ANC instrument.”

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago denied the allegations and said that like all media houses including eNCA, the SABC received the video clip from the ANC and news editors decided it was newsworthy and ran it on its platform.

“There are no special favours that we’re doing for the ANC,” said Kganyago.

“The ANC went and captured the president themselves we didn’t. They recorded the clip and send it to all media houses. We received it and so did eNCA.”

The SABC had a choice to either use it or not

He said that the SABC was a public broadcaster and not a state broadcaster, and that they aired the clip “as a course of business”.

“The ANC was communicating and they used a message that came in a form of a clip. The difference is that sometimes it comes on paper but it’s still a statement. I don’t hear anybody questioning eNCA,” he said.

The controversy around SABC airing the clip comes on the back of authoritarian states such as North Korea using state funded media houses as state broadcasters that are not only used as the ruler or leader’s mouthpiece but are also censored.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said that the “attack on the SABC is unwarranted” and “unfortunate”.

“The president recorded a message and it was sent to all three broadcasters [SABC, eNCA and Afroworld View]. The SABC had a choice to either use it or not,” said Khusela.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe could not be reached for a comment.

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