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Remove the entire SABC board‚ says SACP’s Solly Mapaila

06 July 2016 - 16:12 By Genevieve Quintal

The entire SABC board must be removed because it has failed to deliver on its public mandate and hold management accountable‚ South African Communist Party second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila said.This followed the ANC’s strong stance against recent questionable editorial decisions taken at the SABC‚ as communications subcommittee head Jackson Mthembu lambasted censorship and ‘unacceptable’ lack of consultation ahead of radical policy changes at the public broadcaster. He also questioned the expertise of those at the highest management level at the SABC‚ saying that the various "crises engulfing" the broadcaster were a consequence of a lack of leadership. Mapaila said the SABC board had failed to hold management at the public broadcaster accountable."The board itself is very much complicit … in this rot which is taking place."Our view is that this board must be recused‚ it has failed on its public mandate and the president and Parliament must relook into this institution‚ particularly the failure of the board to hold management to account."The SACP was picketing outside the SABC head offices in Johannesburg on Wednesday.Party members and supporters in red T-shirts held up banners which read: "End corporate capture of SABC"‚ "Reinstate dismissed workers now" and "Stop apartheid-style censorship".Seven journalists have been suspended and are facing disciplinary action at the SABC for questioning editorial policy.At the centre of the matter was a decision taken by the SABC not to show footage of violent protests where public property was being damaged.SABC management has warned that those who do not toe the line will be out.Mapaila said the SACP was picketing in support of‚ and solidarity with‚ the journalists who had been suspended and for transformation at the public broadcaster."We express our concern about the rot‚ which is taking place at the SABC in terms of a personality cult‚ in terms of dictatorial methods of the governance of journalism‚ including the complicity of the board that is unable to stop the rot here‚" he said.The SABC has claimed that those critical of the broadcaster were anti-transformation.The SACP welcomed the stance taken by the ANC on Tuesday."It’s very important that the ANC came out in that form it has reasserted its own values which has been decapitated in its name and I think that’s the movement we used to … the movement of the people‚" said Mapaila.The SABC’s board has taken "serious exception" to insinuations that its managers were neither properly educated nor qualified to run the state broadcaster.It also claimed that it has not changed its editorial policy‚ and that the decision not to show violent protests was an editorial call intended to ensure it adhered to SA’s broadcasting code of conduct...

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