SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng on Tuesday told MPs journalists should be regulated because all other professions were.
“The Honourable Davis, you should not be afraid for media to be regulated,” Motsoeneng said to Democratic Alliance communications spokesperson Gavin Davis during question time in a briefing on the performance and expenditure reports of state media entities.
“Even Parliament is regulated. The judges are regulated. What is a sin if media are regulated? I think that is very important that all people should be regulated because what we are trying to say here, we need people to be professional when they do their work.
“You know sometimes people talk about sources. What is sources? Those sources they should be credible. Journalists should be able to go there and verify the facts, not just the sources that are not even credible, sometimes are misleading.
“This is what we are saying, there is nothing wrong about it. Even you DA, you are regulated, yourself. So what is the reason? Why can’t we regulate journalists?”
The remarks came a day after Motsoeneng told a panel discussion organised by The New Age newspaper on the subject of transformation in the media that journalists lacked objectivity and were “lazy”.
Davis, in a later statement, said: “This is the kind of nonsense that has made Hlaudi Motsoeneng and the SABC a laughing stock across South Africa. If anybody needs to be ‘regulated’, it is Hlaudi Motsoeneng himself.”
He urged the new SABC new chief executive Frans Matlala to fire Motsoeneng.
The briefing also saw sparring between Davis and Motsoeneng about the review of the public broadcaster’s editorial.
Davis charged that the review was six years overdue and was being withheld because Motsoeneng wanted to make it up to suit himself.
The SABC and communications ministry countered that it was trying to calibrate it to the impending migration to digital broadcasting. – ANA