SABC denies banning EFF ad, says it was rejected

The SABC has denied banning an advert of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

"We did not ban the advert, we rejected the advert; there is a difference," public broadcaster spokesperson Kaiser Kganyago said on Tuesday. "They submitted it, we looked at it, and we found that we couldn't put it on air."

Among other things, the slogan "destroy e-tolls physically" used on the advert incited violence, Kganyago said.

The SABC informed the EFF by letter last week of this decision. The party was given the opportunity to amend the advert, but it did not do so.

EFF leader Julius Malema said on Tuesday the SABC should allow people to judge for themselves which party to vote for instead of banning advertisements. "Once you suppress the people contesting elections it means you not ready to give us free and fair elections because unfair coverage leads to unfair elections," he told reporters in Johannesburg.


"Let people judge for themselves, Hlaudi [Motsoeneng] can't judge for them."

Free slots
Malema said the SABC had banned the party's advert. The public broadcaster allocated free slots to political parties contesting the general elections on radio and television.

Malema said his party submitted its advert, which was supposed to be aired on April 20, but was not.

Kganyago denied claims that the SABC rejected the advert because it came from the EFF. "It's not true that it's about them, we just being consistent with regulations," he said.

"The EFF, like any other political party, signed the code of conduct with the IEC that says it will not incite violence … [the advert] goes against the code."

The advert titled "Now is the time for economic freedom", which was posted on YouTube, starts with a woman, identified as Mrs Zameka Nungu, talking in Xhosa about how she was heartbroken when her husband was killed during the Marikana shooting. This is followed by a slideshow of photos showing police officers pointing their guns at mineworkers in Marikana and at people in Bekkersdal. The video then shows Malema, who introduces himself and urges people to vote for the EFF.

"I know your pain and suffering. Let us vote against empty promises of the last 20 years, vote for economic freedom in our lifetime. Let us restore the dignity of the African child. Vote EFF," he said.

The advert ends with posters with Malema's face on them and different slogans, such as "let's stop Nkandla corruption" and "destroy e-tolls physically".

'You're hurting South Africans'
Malema said the EFF would not amend its advert and would not be told by the SABC what it could and could not say. "You're not hurting us, you're hurting South Africans by depriving them of information so that when they vote they make an informed decision. 

"The SABC is playing the same role it played in apartheid — suppressing the struggle," he said.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlovu said the party had lodged a complaint with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa's complaints and compliance committee on Tuesday morning.

Kganyago said the SABC would wait for Icasa to write to it about the EFF matter.

According to Icasa regulations, the authority had 48 hours to reply to any complaint.

Earlier this month, the Democratic Alliance also lodged a complaint with Icasa after the SABC had banned its advert, also giving incitement of violence as the reason. – Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

How smuggled gold destined for Dubai or Singapore has links...

Three Malagasy citizens were apprehended at OR Tambo International airport, but now the trail is found to connect to France and Mali

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

More top stories

R2.3bn VBS trial expected to only begin in 2022

The state is expected to request a 16 week-long trial, as delays stymie progress in the saga.

Spy boss tells how agency was used to detain Zuma’s...

Day two of State Security Agency testimony at the Zondo commission birthed more revelations that point to the former head of state and agents breaking the law

Covax will take excess doses of Covid vaccines off the...

The global initiative plans to deliver two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to developing nations

Eastern Cape citizens don’t have to visit the labour department...

This measure, aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19, may shortly be introduced in other regions.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…