ANN7 fined for defaming ANC chief whip Mthembu


African National Congress Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu addresses media following announcement of the State of the Nation Address postponement.

CAPE TOWN - Broadcaster ANN7 has been fined R80,000 for breaching the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) code of conduct when it repeatedly aired a video clip defaming governing African National Congress (ANC) chief whip, Jackson Mthembu.

In its judgement released on Friday, the BCCSA said the airing of a media briefing by ANC MPs prior to a debate on state capture taking place in the National Assembly was "crafted between the six MPs and the broadcaster and that the news conference and broadcast thereof were intended to sabotage the Complainant’s [Mthembu&39;s] political career".

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"Contravention of the Code was found because the Complainant was not offered the opportunity to reply to allegations (admitted by the Broadcaster), because the clause relating to news was violated and because the dignity of the Complainant was infringed," the ruling said.

"Despite an apology by the Broadcaster, a maximum fine of R80,000 was imposed and the Broadcaster was ordered to broadcast an apology."

The November 2017 media briefing saw MPs have a go at Mthembu, saying the fact that he had agreed to the state capture debate showed he sided with the "racist Democratic Alliance, the DA on a biased parliamentary debate on state capture".