SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has conducted a “full-frontal assault” on freedom of expression, according to a recent affidavit filed in the Constitutional Court.


According to reports by the City Press and The Sunday Independent, the details of Motsoeneng’s reign at the broadcaster were detailed in an affidavit submitted on behalf of eight suspended SABC journalists.

The affidavit follows a statement by the broadcaster that it would not cover violent protests in South Africa – a decision which was ruled against by ICASA, and subsequently ignored by SABC management.

The suspended journalist were said to have challenged Motsoeneng’s position on censorship, which resulted in the COO telling staff that if they do not adhere to the policy, they will be “got rid of”.

The SABC stated it will challenge ICASA’s ruling, and has a legal team attending to the matter. The broadcaster has until 18 July to comply with the ruling.

The suspended journalists stated that the SABC was determined to censor news, and provide a distorted view of reality to those who relied on its platforms for information.

Motsoeneng also reportedly told staff that if they “mess up” the SABC, they will mess up their lives.

Zuma is special

The move to control news content included the coverage of political matters, stated the report, with Motsoeneng telling staff that President Jacob Zuma was special and deserved to be treated differently from the ANC.

Zuma was not to be questioned in the same way as other leaders, he said, and in some cases should not be questioned at all.

“I am in charge, you must adhere to my instruction. President Jacob Zuma is the president of the country. You cannot treat him the same,” said Motsoeneng.

The full reports are in the City Press and The Sunday Independent of 17 July.

Source: My Broadband