ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe claims his party has also been a victim of censorship at the SABC.
“We are saying the SABC sometimes censors us as the ANC and nobody speaks. It doesn’t report on our activities and yet nobody comments. Censorship is a bad thing generally,” Mantashe said on Monday.
Mantashe’s comments come on the heels of SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s controversial decision to stop airing footage of violent protests. It has led to an outcry from the public, civil society and the media industry.
Mantashe said SABC acting CEO Jimi Matthews was acting “holier than thou”. He resigned last Monday due to the “corrosive” atmosphere at the broadcaster.
“Nobody has asked Jimi Matthews why he has been a senior person for years and only now he is crying foul for decisions he took. They have been censoring everybody, including the ANC, for years,” Mantashe added.
He denied the ANC’s involvement in editorial decisions at the public broadcaster.
“Matthews says somebody in the ANC was controlling them. Who are these persons?” he asked.
In an interview with eNCA on Sunday, Matthews said the public broadcaster made sure the EFF received “limited coverage” at Motsoeneng’s behest.
On Friday morning, journalists from several media outlets picketed outside the SABC’s offices in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town in support of three journalists who were served with disciplinary letters last week, and against Motsoeneng’s censorship of the news.
The three journalists had disagreed with an instruction during a diary conference not to cover the Right2Know campaign’s protest against censorship at the public broadcaster earlier that week.
This followed the suspension of three other employees at the broadcaster.