Cope slams ANC’s ‘mutists of Parliament’ for silence on SABC censorship

01 July 2016 - 14:44 By TMG Digital

The Congress of the People (Cope) labelled ruling party members of Parliament as “mutists” for their “deathly silence…regarding the destructive censorship of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)”.This censorship‚ Cope’s Dennis Bloem said as pickets were held outside the SABC offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg‚ was largely the work of the broadcaster’s chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi”. “There was a time not too long ago when Africa and the world admired both our Parliament as well as the SABC‚” said Bloem.“They were seen as institutions singularly belonging to the people and fulsomely serving the people. Not so anymore. Both have regressed dangerously since 2009 to become shadows of their former selves and betrayers of their respective mandates.“…Parliament’s role in exercising scrutiny on the public broadcaster has withered.”Bloem said that President Jacob Zuma – whose “antipathy towards smart and educated people‚ [was] matched ferociously by Motsoeneng” – “wants South Africa to be mute also while insurgency grows and the National Treasury is rapidly depleted by the political elite through state capture at every level”.He said this was being helped along by African National Congress members of Parliament as “they think nothing‚ they see nothing‚ they say nothing” while the country’s hard-fought “freedom is being eroded daily by the Zuma-Muthambi-Motsoeneng axis”.“They are the ‘mutist’ MPs of South Africa‚” Bloem added.“This is therefore a time for all of us to stop the speak up and to support the South African National Editors Forum‚” urged Bloem of the body which on Thursday said it would make presentations to MPs in light of allegations of censorship and disciplinary action taken against six SABC employees.“This is the time for all of us to stop the immolation of our democracy. We cannot be mere uninvolved bystanders while journalist of great integrity and competence are being bullied‚ stifled and muzzled.”

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day or Financial Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.