/ 26 September 2007

SABC insists Mbeki doccie will finally be aired

The controversial documentary Unauthorised: Thabo Mbeki will be screened on SABC3 next Wednesday, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) said.

“We’ve got the tape, the final copy, and it will be shown on October 3 at 9.30pm,” said spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.

He said all “checks and balances” had been done before the final decision to screen the documentary was made. “We’ve been saying all along that we would show it on SABC3 and now we are really doing what we’ve been promising to do all along,” he said.

The documentary charts Mbeki’s rise to power, interspersed with a few insights into his personality.

It includes interviews with media personality Redi Direko, Treatment Action Campaign leader Zackie Achmat, former Rand Daily Mail editor Alistair Sparks, Mbeki’s mother, Epainette, and City Press editor Mathatha Tsedu.

“We wanted South Africans to be able to make up their own minds about the film. So we are glad that it’s finally being shown,” said producers Ben Cashdan and Direko.

The screening of the documentary has been cancelled several times.

When the Mail & Guardian wanted to screen the documentary in July as part of its Critical Thinking Forum programme, the SABC at first threatened a court interdict to prevent it from being shown, saying it was the owner of the work and did not agree to the public screening.

It later agreed to the screening and an SABC representative also took part in a panel discussion on the documentary.

Listen to a full MP3 recording of the M&G Critical Thinking Forum. Click on a link below to listen, or right click and save to download (MP3, 45 minutes each):

  • Part one (initial presentations by panellists)

  • Part two (comments and question time)