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Civil society organisations planning mass action against SABC editorial policy

5 July 2016 7:21 AM

Civil society is intensifying it's protests against recent editorial policy at the state broadcaster.

A collective of civil society organisations are deliberating a way forward to bring South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, to book regarding the editorial policies. This after he reneged on a scheduled meeting to discuss various issues relating to recent developments at the organisation.

The national broadcaster has recently come under criticism after Motsoeneng banned the broadcasting of public protests in what he claims to be a focus on "telling South Africa's good story". In recent weeks, various journalists have been suspended and charged for seeking clarification on editorial policies that stifle media freedom.

In what is seen as an about-turn, the African National Congress (ANC) national spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, called for a probe into the troubled broadcaster.

702's John Robbie spoke to National Coordinator of SOS Coalition, Sekoetlane Phamodi, regarding the state of play around the issue.

Listen to the conversation below:

We are going to have mass rolling action throughout this week and next week until Mr Motsoeneng opens up the doors of the SABC and begins to engage with us in good faith.

Sekoetlane Phamodi, National Coordinator of SOS Coalition

These are the issues that the group were hoping to discuss with Motsoeneng in a scheduled meeting he reneged on:

  • lifting the suspension of 7 journalists without conditions
  • ensuring that the unions are allowed to organise workers who are being absorbed into the SABC from labour broker contracts
  • engaging the editorial policy of the SABC which are stifling media freedom

15 minutes before the scheduled meeting, Mr Motsoeneng phoned Zwelinzima Vavi and said that he and his team have discussed the matter and are not lifting the suspensions at all.

Sekoetlane Phamodi, National Coordinator of SOS Coalition

5 July 2016 7:21 AM