SABC cancels Mangaung talk show at last minute

A planned radio interview with three journalists took a surprising turn, when minutes before the show was meant to start, they were stopped from going on air.

Sam Mkokeli, political editor from Business Day, Sunday Times' political editor S'thembiso Msomi and Financial Times bureau editor Andrew England were invited on to Sakina Kamwendo's Metro FM talk show on Tuesday evening to discuss the upcoming ANC elective conference in Mangaung and how the media would cover it.

A shocked Mkokeli told the Mail & Guardian that minutes before they were due on air, Kamwendo told the reporters she was no longer able to host them on her show as “higher powers” had instructed her not to. No further explanation was offered as to why they were not allowed to speak and all three journalists left.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago was unavailable for comment but he had told Talk Radio 702 earlier that he could not comment as he did not have all the facts.

This censorship follows on the back of the SABC’s last-minute decision not to air a television ad depicting President Jacob Zuma and his family.

An ad promoting a fast food outlet was due to be aired on the public broadcaster's channels last week, and was meant to be aired until February, but it was pulled just two hours before it was scheduled to be flighted.

Later it emerged that the broadcaster's acting chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, took the controversial decision to take the commercial off air.

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Amanda Strydom
Amanda Strydom is the Mail & Guardian online's night editor. With a background in science and journalism, she has a black belt third dan in ballet and, according to a statistical analysis of the past three years, reads 2.73 books every week. She never finishes her tea, although she won't say no to a cupcake. But only just this once.

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