ANC does not condone SABC censorship – Mthembu

    By Tiso Black Star Group Digital

    The SABC cannot decide what people can or cannot watch‚ this is in contravention of the Constitution‚ the ANC’s communications subcommittee head Jackson Mthembu said on Tuesday.

    He said people‚ led by the ANC fought for media freedom and freedom of expression and any policy changes made by the SABC that in anyway limited those freedoms could never be sanctioned by the governing party.

     ANC’s communications subcommittee head Jackson Mthembu
    ANC’s communications subcommittee head Jackson Mthembu

    Mthembu was adamant that the party did not condone the decision taken not to show footage of violent protests‚ despite its spokesman Zizi Kodwa at the time welcoming the decision taken by the SABC.

    “The decision of the SABC to desist from showing images of the destruction of property has not been consulted with or condoned by the African National Congress‚” he said.

    “This is worrying as it amounts to a change in policy position of the governing party — without any engagement on its merits and reasoning.”

    Mthembu said such policy changes did not go through any public consultation.

    The ANC has made an about-turn on its stance with regards to what was happening at the public broadcaster.

    The public broadcaster has not been immune from political interference for over a decade ¬¬ and governance has suffered as a result.

    However‚ Mthembu on Tuesday said the SABC did not answer to the ANC and did not “connive” with anyone at the public broadcaster.

    He said to date there had been no evidence of this.

    No one at senior level at the SABC came from the party’s deployment committee‚ Mthembu said.

    The ANC was of the view that the “crisis engulfing” the SABC was a consequence of a lack of leadership.

    Mthembu questioned the expertise of those who were at the highest managerial level at the public broadcaster.

    This was something which needed to be addressed.

    The ANC will be meeting with Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and called for an inquiry into allegations which “tarnished the image of the ANC” in respect to current developments at the SABC.