The SABC has been slammed for its proposed ban on covering violent protests during news bulletins.
The public broadcaster has said it will no longer air what it termed “destructive and regressive” depictions of protesters destroying public property.
On Friday, SABC CEO Hlaudi Motsoeneng said as a “responsible public institution”, the SABC could no longer “promote such behaviour,” as it might encourage other communities to do the same.
He said other broadcasters and print media should support the SABC’s stance, and not help “push the agendas” of protesters.
However, his statement was met with outrage by opposition political parties and civil rights groups, which likened the decision to news blackouts practices by the apartheid government.
The Democratic Alliance said it was considering legal options as the ANC was turning the public broadcaster into a “propaganda porthole”.
The Economic Freedom Fighters said Motsoeneng’s argument was “fallacious”.
“(It) has to do with not showing protests during elections because it hurts the ANC,” said spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) said the decision amounted to censorship and had met with SABC acting group chief executive Jimi Mathews to express its “shock and displeasure at the decision”.