The SABC Is An Ideological Broadcaster

By Sam Ditshego

The South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) Morning Live television show interviewed Letlapa Mphahlele and Luthando Mbinda of the PAC after a unity meeting convened by some PAC founding members and senior cadres which was held in the East Rand to forge unity among its three different factions and here is the first interview

 and the second one is here

which was scheduled apparently because one of the faction leaders who declined to attend the East Rand unity meeting requested his right of reply and it was granted. These interviews were conducted in two consecutive days.

The East Rand unity meeting was a precursor to the one that has kicked off from the 8th August in Kimberley and is going to conclude its business in the morning of 12th August after which a media conference will be held. The leader of the faction that declined the invitation to attend the East Rand unity meeting has also refused to attend the Kimberley unity conference even though he was included as a speaker at the unity conference.

He approached the courts two days before the start of the unity conference for an interdict to stop the unity conference from taking place. The court struck off the roll his case with costs. SABC’s Morning Live gave his court bid wide coverage but when the court dismissed his case, Morning Live did not cover the outcome. Not only did Morning Live report on the dismissed case of this third PAC faction but has also not given coverage to the Kimberley unity conference. However, when there is in-fighting and factional battles within the PAC, Morning Live and other SABC television and radio shows would be in the forefront of giving publicity to these battles and ask sarcastically “how would voters vote for a party such as the PAC which is riddled with factional battle and internal squabbles”. If these are remedied the SABC goes underground. It rejoices at the PAC’s woes.

I have written countless articles condemning the way the SABC is run but these guys are impervious Recently, the SABC ran a documentary claiming that Mandela was a Pan Africanist and I responded in this article but the circus continues.

The SABC treats the PAC like a step child of God but give an inordinate amount of media coverage to the ANC and the ANC is given live coverage of their events. During Sharpeville Day, a PAC event, the SABC goes live to where the ANC is celebrating it and gives scant or no coverage at all to the PAC. The same applies to Soweto Day commemorations. During Sharpeville Day and Soweto Day, that leader of the third faction who is hostile to unity initiatives is almost invariably invited by the ANC to celebrate these commemorative days with them. This happened last year and this year and his speech is also covered live. In April this year during the PAC Day at Orlando Communal Hall where the PAC was formed, the Johannesburg Branch of the PAC under which Orlando falls had organised a celebration of the 59th anniversary of PAC. The leader of this faction double-booked in order to disrupt the event. The Johannesburg Branch would have none of that. A ruckus erupted and the leader of this faction called in the Police some of whom had already been in and around the premises to demonstrate that they had his ear. There were no fatalities but some members who were on the side of the Johannesburg were apparently shot at with buck shots or rubber bullets.

About two weeks ago, social media was abuzz with the news that Mrs Zondeni Sobukwe was admitted to hospital. The ANC government did not take her to a private hospital. The SABC has not reported that Mrs Sobukwe is hospitalised. The 9th August is Women’s Day. SABC presenters read the names of all ANC women but those of Mrs Sobukwe and the late Urbania Mothopeng who are struggle heroines in their own right. But the SABC covered the death of Winnie Mandela the whole two months but cannot find a ten seconds slot for two real struggle heroines. If this is not ideological then I don’t know what is.

Party hacks at the SABC and the apparatchiks think it is optional to give coverage to the PAC, Mrs Sobukwe, Mrs Mothopeng and other PAC personalities. They are dead wrong, they are a public broadcaster and it is obligatory to report about the PAC and its former leaders. The SABC, ANC and their partners in crime of the apartheid government want us to believe the lie that they don’t have Sobukwe’s audio and video recordings. Their lies can turn a monkey red. If Sobukwe’s recording are not at the SABC, where have they gone to? And who is the first person to find out Sobukwe’s recordings were missing and what was he/she looking for to realise they were missing and how long ago was this? Was he/she specifically looking for Sobukwe’s recordings and what for? After finding out they were missing, what did he/she do about it? Did he report and to whom?

The SABC under Chris Maroleng rebranded itself as impartial and independent. However, it is still the same old SABC. They display a fleet of white vehicles which they said can be dispatched to cover events in different places. Why not send one of those vehicles to Kimberley to go and cover this very important PAC unity conference since the SABC publicised the disunity within the PAC?

The SABC should mend its ways and soul failing which the PAC will have to force those who run it to do the right thing. The SABC is a public broadcaster, it is not an ANC mouthpiece meant to conduct its ideological battles against its rivals.

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