South Africa: Journalists protest against SABC

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – Hundreds of journalists on Friday began protesting outside the offices of South Africa’s national broadcaster in Cape Town and Johannesburg after it was thrown into turmoil with the sudden resignation of acting CEO Jimmi Mathews earlier this week.

The picket has the support of the South African National Editors’ Forum. Its chairman Mpumelelo Mkhabela said presentations would be made to Parliament and other stakeholders in light of allegations of censorship and the suspension of three SABC employees.

Three other senior journalists are also facing disciplinary action for objecting to the SABC’s editorial policies. Hannes du Buisson, spokesperson for the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union, said the union was opposing the “unprecedented” disciplinary action.

As previously reported by PANA, Mathews sparked an outcry when he said the climate at the SABC had become too “corrosive” for him to remain in his position.  The SABC has come under enormous criticism over the past couple of weeks for refusing to cover violent protests with SABC Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng saying they were damaging the credibility of the country.

The Cape Town Press Club on Thursday said Motsoeneng must be relieved of his duties in order for the broadcaster to regain its credibility.

Press Club chairman Brent Meersman said the atmosphere of fear at the SABC did not bode well for freedom of speech and democracy. He compared the situation to the apartheid-era when the SABC was used as a government mouthpiece.
-0- PANA CU/MA 1July2016

01 july 2016 08:36:43

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