The SABC removed the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) ‘Ayisafani’ television commercial from the airwaves because it incited violence, said SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago on Friday.
It was reported that the public broadcaster submitted a letter to the party informing them that the ad will no longer be televised and that the DA was entitled to submit an edited version.
“The Icasa regulation on political advertising states clearly that there may not be incitement to violence,” said SABC acting group CEO Tian Oliver in the letter.
“It is our view that the reference in your television advertisement to police killing our people is cause for incitement against the police services,” he added.
Oliver said the ad also featured information about the Nkandla scandal which has not been confirmed in a court of law. He said this could be seen as publishing false information about another party which is against the Electoral Code of Conduct.
“We are also of the view that the SABC will not permit personal attacks on any party member or leader by any other party, as being done in your advertisement in respect of… Zuma,” said Olivier.
“We do not have any concern about generic statements regarding matters such as corruption or lack of service delivery, but do not believe that it is correct to pin such issues on any specific person…”
Meanwhile the DA’s national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane said it will fight the move by the SABC. He added that he believed the public broadcaster bowed to pressure from the ruling ANC party to remove the commercial.
“The reasons advanced by the SABC are spurious, and almost certainly illegal. This is a transparent attempt by the SABC to protect Jacob Zuma from any public accountability for the Nkandla scandal,” said Maimane.
“The DA will fight this censorship. We have already briefed our lawyers this morning, and will begin legal proceedings to overturn this decision immediately,” he said. “Political advertising regulations require us to approach ICASA. We are confident ICASA will dismiss the SABC’s censorship and reinstate the commercial immediately.”
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