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DA warns the SABC, says broadcaster has until Wednesday to air Maimane’s message on land

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The DA has slammed the SABC’s decision to air ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pre-recorded message, where he announced the party’s decision on land expropriation

The Democratic Alliance is challenging the SABC, imposing a Wednesday 00h00 deadline to air a video package of leader Mmusi Maimane declaring the party’s stance on land reform.

This comes after ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa announced through the public broadcaster, that the party would be going ahead with having the constitution amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

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The DA said the SABC had a principle to uphold. “This is highly irregular and unacceptable for the public broadcaster to accept a packaged video from a political party, to interrupt normal programming to air the recording, and then deny opposition parties the opportunity to do the same. The explanation that this package was intrinsically newsworthy is dishonest because had that been the reason, they would have aired it as part of a news bulletin and not a special broadcast”, said DA MP Phumzile van Damme.

Van Damme added that: “This is not just about the content of the broadcast but the principle that the public broadcaster must uphold”

The party has also laid a complaint against the SABC with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa and will await the public broadcaster’s response.

“The SABC has a mandate to educate and inform the public in an impartial manner. However, giving the ANC a special broadcast on their President’s video on land redistribution without compensation, the SABC has robbed the public of adequate knowledge, from different points of view, on issues of public importance. They have abused this public institution”, said van Damme.

Thabo Baloyi
t.baloyi@politicalanalysis.co.za

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