SABC bans broadcast of protests, destruction of property

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Motsoeneng said the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) went on a public drive in August 2012, and viewers felt the television news broadcasts were too short.

JOHANNESBURG – In the wave of protests that have engulfed South Africa, state broadcaster SABC on Friday announced it would stop broadcasting protests and footage showing destruction of property, urging other broadcasters to do the same.

The SABC said it condemned the burning of public institutions and has taken a decision that it would not show footage of people burning schools or other facilities in any of its news bulletins with immediate effect.

“These actions are regrettable and viewed as regressive on the developments made after 22 years of South Africa’s democracy. Continuing to promote them might encourage other communities to do the same. The SABC would like to stress that we will continue to cover news without fear or favour. We will not cover people who are destroying public property,” the broadcaster said in a statement.

“The SABC would like to make an appeal to other South African broadcasters and print media to stand in solidarity with the public broadcaster not to cover the violent protests that are on the rise and in turn destroying public institutions.”

Chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said the decision was taken to show that violent protests were not necessary.

“It is regrettable that these actions are disrupting many lives and as a responsible public institution we will not assist these individuals to push their agenda that seeks media attention."

“As a public service broadcaster we have a mandate to educate the citizens, and we therefore have taken this bold decision to show that violent protests are not necessary. We would like to encourage citizens to protest peacefully without destroying the very same institutions that are needed to restore their dignity,” he said.