SABC interdicted from protest censorship

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Johannesburg, 29 June 2016 - SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng says employees who dont toe the line will be dealt with. He was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday to address the resignation of Acting CEO Jimi Matthews.

PRETORIA – The SABC was interdicted on Wednesday by the High Court in Pretoria from enforcing its policy to ban footage of violent protests.

The Helen Suzman Foundation had taken the public broadcaster to court.

It&39;s believed the SABC was forced to make numerous concessions.

Judge John Murphy adjourned court proceedings a couple of minutes after starting, giving the SABC and foundation attorneys a chance to iron out the key issue of the violent protests.

HSF director Francis Antonie said they were not prepared to compromise on the ban.

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"This is a matter of principle. We can’t do that (compromise). Once we do that, we are on a slippery slope to nowhere. That I’m very clear about," Antonie told reporters after the court adjourned.

"Our central point is that the editorial policy cannot violate either the Bill of Rights, the Constitution or the Broadcasting Act. 

"What they have been doing at the SABC is to violate the Broadcasting Act and the Constitution. The SABC is a public broadcaster, it exists because of public funds, support from the state and taxpayers."

Antonie said the SABC has become "a party broadcaster".

"It’s in fact a party broadcaster for a faction of the party and that is unacceptable. That violates the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Broadcasting Act," said Antonie.

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During the adjournment, Antonie said the parties were "negotiating how editorial independence at the SABC can proceed".

The parties will return to court to update the judge on their deliberations.

The foundation brought the urgent application against the SABC, its board of directors, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.