SABC bars newsmen after mysterious call

05 December 2012 - 10:07 By Staff reporter
The SABC HQ in Johannesburg. File photo
The SABC HQ in Johannesburg. File photo

THREE journalists were last night barred from taking part in one of the SABC's radio shows to discuss the media's coverage of the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung.

The Metro FM show, hosted by Sakina Kamwendo, was thrown into disarray minutes before the journalists were to go on air at 8pm.

Sunday Times political editor S'thembiso Msomi, Business Day political editor Sam Mkokeli and Southern African bureau chief of the Financial Times Andrew England were stunned after they were told their input would no longer be needed.

Msomi said he was shocked at the way they were treated.

"While in the studio, a call came through and one of the producers came in and asked us our names and publications we represented. Soon after the call was transferred to Kamwendo.

"She spoke to someone for a few minutes. A short while later we were told our views would no longer be needed," Msomi said.

SABC spokesman Kaiser Kganyago said he was not in a position to comment as he was not aware of the incident.

Mkokeli said it was sad to see the public-funded broadcaster being manipulated to serve personal agendas.

The show continued without the journalists' input.

Angry callers to the station lambasted SABC managers for their actions, saying they were nothing short of censorship.

It is not the first time the SABC has barred journalists from taking part in its programmes.

In 2007, just months before the ANC was to hold its elective conference in Polokwane, several journalists and political commentators were blacklisted because of their take on the state of the ANC under former president Thabo Mbeki.