The Democratic Alliance on Friday filed papers in the South Gauteng High Court against the SABC over its coverage of the party’s federal congress in Port Elizabeth this weekend.
“The DA alleged that the SABC withdrawal of its live coverage on public television is both contrary to the public interest and contrary to the SABC’s own editorial policy,” the party said in a statement.
The party’s spokesperson, Phumzile van Damme, told News24 that the SABC and the DA agreed that the congress’s opening would be shown on free-to-air SABC 2.
“It is manifestly in the public interest that a national elective congress of the official opposition in South Africa, representing over 4 million voters, receives coverage by the national public broadcaster.
“The SABC has, without fail, covered the ANC’s major national events, including extensive live broadcasts of elective and policy conferences, birthday celebrations and lectures.
“The SABC’s decision to withdraw live coverage of the DA’s Federal Congress, in contrast, is irrational and unreasonable.
But the public broadcaster denied reneging on an agreement with the DA, with their spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago saying the opposition party wants “to dictate” to the SABC.
“We never promised to show [the congress] on SABC 2.
“They must show us where we promised that,” said Kganyago, adding that the SABC would cover the event on its 24-hour DStv news channel.