The complaints and compliance committee of communications regulator Icasa has ordered that the SABC withdraw the resolution that it will no longer broadcast footage of violent protests.
Icasa has said that SABC chairman Obert Maguhve must confirm in writing within seven days to confirm the reversal of the resolution. If it continues to censor the news, Icasa has warned that it could revoke the broadcaster’s licence.
The SABC’s decision to censor the news led a storm of protest from both the ANC and opposition political parties.
The Icasa committee ruling, which is dated 3 July, comes after Media Monitoring Africa, the SOS Coalition and the Freedom of Expression Institute lodged a complaint against the SABC’s announcement that it will no longer broadcast footage of destruction of public property during protests.
The Democratic Alliance welcomed the Icasa decision. “Icasa’s ruling is a victory for press freedom,” the party said in a statement.
It said SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng must be suspended pending an independent and impartial disciplinary inquiry into Motsoeneng’s fitness to hold office.
It said, too, that the broadcaster’s nonexecutive board members and Maguvhe should be suspended for failing in their duties to hold the SABC’s management accountable.
Chief financial officer and acting CEO James Aguma should also be suspended for “providing financial backing for Motsoeneng’s censorship project”, the DA said. It also wants communications minister Faith Muthambi fired “for failing to conduct proper oversight of the SABC”. — (c) 2016 NewsCentral Media