SABC tries to discredit leaked blacklist report

THE South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has attempted to discredit the report that its CEO, Dali Mpofu, commissioned on the blacklisting of certain political commentators by the broadcaster.

It said in a recent submission to the Independent Communications Authority of SA’s (Icasa’s) complaints compliance committee that it did not accept some of the evidence given to the commission as reflected in the report.

The submission was made to the committee in response to a complaint by the Freedom of Expression Institute that the blacklisting was a violation of the Broadcasting Act’s mandate.

In the submission, which will be part of an Icasa hearing later this month, the SABC said: “It is significant for the (committee) to note that the SABC has not accepted all the findings by the commission as correct.”

It said that evidence in the report had not been given under oath, or tested by cross-examination, and that it had not been “properly evaluated” by the commission, nor had the disputes been resolved.

As a result, it said it was not “competent” for the committee to accept the findings of the commission “when the SABC does not accept them”.

The SABC also said in its submission to the commission that Icasa did not have the power to direct the SABC to take action over the report’s findings as this would “usurp the SABC management prerogatives”.

The broadcaster said the reason it would still not release the blacklisting report — which was leaked to the media late last year — was because it was meant for the board of the SABC and not for public consumption.

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SABC tries to discredit leaked blacklist report