CONTROVERSIAL: SABC chief Hlaudi Motsoeneng

The SABC is adamant that it does not want to show footage of violent protests – and will now turn to the courts to get its way.

This after the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) yesterday ruled that the broadcaster should reverse its decision to stop broadcasting violent protests on TV.

In May, controversial SABC Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng banned the broadcasting of visuals showing the destruction of state property, saying it incited others to also destroy government property.

But Acting Chairperson of ICASA, Rubben Mohlaloga, says this decision was in direct conflict with the public broadcaster’s mandate.

“It was argued by the complainants’ legal representative that the policy of the SABC on this matter, which includes a resolution, is not only in conflict with the duties of the SABC in terms of the Broadcasting Act and its licences, but also with the constitutional principle of freedom of expression and freedom to receive information or ideas.”

ICASA gave the SABC seven days to reverse this decision, but Motsoeneng says he will challenge the ruling in court.

“…if we need to go to constitutional court, that is where the matter will end,” Motsoeneng says.

After protests at SABC offices, Motsoeneng says he’s min gesping about public opinion or media commentators.

“Newspapers they can come together, Right To Know, everybody. We invite you to do that, we are equal to the task,” he says.