Cope: ‘SABC’s footage blackout won’t stop the protests’

27 May 2016 - 11:04 By TMG Digital

The public broadcaster’s chief operations officer‚ Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ said on Thursday night that he had taken the stance as he believed giving “publicity to such actions that are destructive and regressive” provoked copycat actions elsewhere.Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem told TMG Digital his party “condemns strongly the destruction of property – private- and government-owned”‚ but added that Motsoeneng’s decision “won’t stop anything”. Saying the service delivery protests wouldn’t be happening “in the first place with a government that is successful and proactive”‚ Motsoeneng’s decision “to blackout reality was a slip down a very dark hole”.Bloem attacked Motsoeneng’s justification that it was keeping with the SABC’s mandate “to educate the citizens‚ and we therefore have taken this bold decision to show that violent protests are not necessary”.“We totally disagree with that. It the SABC’s to keep the public at large informed of what is going on in the country. Not to keep it in the dark‚” said Bloem. The SABC’s decision also irked the Twitterati‚ with most describing it as “censorship” as #SABC trended. Matshidiso Madia ‏@tshidi_lee said: “Struggling to understand the #SABC trying to filter South Africa's reality. It feels dangerous”.Maimane(Rustenburg) ‏@ZAMeshking said: “ The decision by the SABC to censor video footages to show on TV is truly undemocratic.....foremost ‚ oppressive . Is this the ANC speaking?”Jabu Peter Maluleka ‏@jabudarock‚ said: “The self censoring announced by the SABC smells like a political decision. The next thing they wont be showing #EFF inParli”.Katleho Mapetla ‏@2kmaps ‚ said‚ “Maybe the Queen's language is beating me up‚ but isn't this "decision" that the #SABC has "taken" called censorship?”“The #SABC is literally regressing back into its old censorship self...might as well call it the SAUK again‚” said Sihle Ngobese ‏@SihleDLK“History is repeating itself at the SABC......censored by the Nats in the 80's‚ now censored by the ‘liberators’‚” said ‏@FraudWatchZAThe SABC said on Thursday night that it is “cognisant of the fact that citizens have constitutional rights to protest and voice their concerns on various issues”‚ but maintained that destroying property was not the way to go about it.Motsoeneng said: “It is regrettable that these actions are disrupting many lives and as a responsible public institution we will not assist these individuals to push their agenda that seeks media attention.“We would like to encourage citizens to protest peacefully without destroying the very same institutions that are needed to restore their dignity.”“We are not going to provide publicity to such actions that are destructive and regressive‚” the SABC statement said.The public broadcaster also made an “appeal to other South African broadcasters and the print media to stand in solidarity with the public broadcaster not to cover the violent protests that are on the rise”.– TMG Digital

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