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‘Save the SABC, fire Hlaudi,’ protesters ask

2014-05-05 17:00
Cape Town – "Save the SABC, fire Hlaudi," read placards that protesters held up on Friday during the second public protest in a week that was held at the doorstep of the South African public broadcaster’s Auckland Park headquarters.

The SABC had no coverage of the second protest in a week against the beleaguered broadcaster, accused of political bias and rampant mismanagement, on any of its three TV channels or 24-hour TV news channel, SABC News, on Friday, as protesters demanded the firing of the acting chief operating officer (COO) and famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The second march and picketing at the SABC on Friday followed the protest of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to the SABC on Tuesday last week when thousands of people marched to the public broadcaster.

On Friday it was the Independent Producers' Organisation (IPO), Numsa (National Union of Metal Workers) trade union, the Right2Know campaign, the Support Public Broadcasting Coalition (SOS Coalition), the Voices of the Poor of Concerned Residents of South Africa, the Democratic Left Front and members of the public picket who took to the broadcaster's doorstep.

End the rot and irregularities at the SABC

Protesters held up placards and banners saying "SABC murders local content", "SABC squanders, while film makers suffer", "The SABC is for public, not party broadcaster", "SABC for all, not political party", "Politicians' hands OFF the SABC", "Media for the Public and NOT for Profit", "Save the SABC, fire Hlaudi" and "SABC, where are the documentaries?"

The Right2Know campaign, a civil society public pressure group with no political affiliation, organised today's public protest action and co-ordinated the picketing action with the various organisations.

The Right2Know organisation called for "an end to the rot and irregularities at the SABC", with Numsa saying that "the SABC is turning into the state broadcasting megaphone for Luthuli House" [ANC headquarters].

"Our public broadcaster, the SABC, is increasingly becoming the mouthpiece of the state and ruling party; willfully underplaying the state's illegitimate use of violence against the people of this country, censoring programming that asks why our public representatives have failed us and willfully misinterpreting its editorial policies and regulations to silence opposition parties and the public from airing their grievances and opinions," says Right2Know.

"We are raising concerns about threats to freedom of speech," said Dale McKinley of Right2Know.

"We want a free public broadcaster," said Sekoetlane Phamodi, SOS Coalition coordinator.

"There is a rot in the SABC and acting chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng must go," said Dinga Sikwebu, Numsa coordinator.

Read more on:    sabc  |  hlaudi motsoeneng  |  tv
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