Political parties on Friday condemned the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s decision on limiting broadcasting of protests.
This after the public broadcaster announced on Friday that it would no longer broadcast footage of people destroying public property during protests.
The decision would be implemented with immediate effect, the broadcaster said.
DA MP Phumzile Van Damme said they were considering their legal options following the announcement by SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said there was no grounds to the logic that showing the country that people had burned a public building would encourage others to do the same.
“Instead, when you do not show what has happened, you tell incomplete news and no one ever understands the extent of the frustration and damage that would have occurred,” he said.
Ndlozi said TV depended on images to tell a story.
“Without images, we may as well shutdown the SABC television news department and proceed only with radio,” he said.
He said the decision was not about not showing violence but protecting the ANC ahead of the elections.
Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said Motsoeneng was completely distorting the SABC’s mandate when he linked “his censorship to the function of educating the citizens”.
“How do you educate people by keeping them ignorant of what is happening? A safe and stable society requires an informed citizenry. His decision to censor footage in order to ‘show that violent protests are not necessary’ is politically ignorant,” he said.
He said they disagreed with the decision.
Motsoeneng said acts of destroying public property were disrupting the lives of many, and that as a responsible public institution the SABC would not “assist these individuals to push their agenda that seeks media attention”.