When the IFP marched on the SABC on the 14th
of September 2012, we did so in recognition of the fact that we
have tried every other avenue of engaging the SABC to address
the entrenched political bias evident in our public broadcaster.
It is therefore no surprise that today's media reports have
again vindicated the IFP's concerns.
It is a matter of great concern to the IFP
that the public broadcaster is again, today, making news for all
the wrong reasons. We were optimistic that the SABC would be
able to rise from the ashes, address its critical challenges and
chart a new way forward. Clearly, this has not been the case.
Reports today that the SABC struck a deal to
buy a 1000 copies of the ANC-aligned New Age newspaper every
day, despite concerns from staff that the broadcaster was
spending a fortune on newspapers that were not being read,
coupled with the fact that it gave the newspaper free exposure
worth millions on Morning Live, is more evidence that political
interference has been built into the SABC system and ruthlessly
exploited by the ANC-alliance. It is again abundantly clear that
the SABC is not an independent public broadcaster, but a state
broadcaster that panders to the ruling party.
The IFP also remains concerned with reports
that continue to resurface that rules were bent to appoint the
allegedly politically-connected Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng as Chief
Operating Officer, under irregular circumstances.
One wonders how the SABC can legitimately
claim that it trying to turn around the fortunes of the ailing,
cash-strapped broadcaster, when it dishes out R3-million in
sponsorship to a now discredited ICT Indaba willy-nilly, while
losing R438-million through fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
This renewed crisis at the SABC hampers its
ability to operate efficiently in fulfilment of its mandate as a
Quite clearly, we cannot, in the national
interest, allow the present paralysis to continue. The latest
internal squabbles, scandals and ugly in-fighting at the public
broadcaster is cringeworthy to say the least. One feels sympathy
for the staff at the SABC, who continue to work under very
The IFP is of the view that it would be
prudent of the Minister of Communications to launch a full
Commission of Enquiry into the state of affairs at the public
broadcaster. Such an enquiry will help all people concerned,
that is those who serve on the Board and the Executive
management, to have their names cleared or otherwise, of all
sorts of unsavoury accusations and allegations and most
importantly whether there has been any political interference
The IFP hopes that Treasury will not consider
granting the R180-million now needed for the SABC's 24 hour news
channel. Surely, struggling South African taxpayers, deserve
Ms Liezl van der Merwe MP,
Spokesperson on Communications.
Contact: Mr Phendulani Biyase, IFP Media
Officer on 073 024 5675.