Jacob Zuma abused SABC for political campaigning – DA

Jacob Zuma abused SABC for political campaigning – DA

Mmusi Maimane, DA premier candidate for Gauteng. CC image courtesy of the Democratic Alliance on Flickr.

Opposition party the Democratic Alliance (DA) has slammed the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) for interrupting ordinary programming on Wednesday, in order to air a speech President Jacob Zuma delivered at a dinner function.

According to Mmusi Maimane, DA national spokesperson, the speech was not worth the interruption in the normal broadcasting.

“It is unclear why the speech was afforded live coverage,” said Maimane.

“There was no new announcement in the speech, or indeed anything that would ordinarily be considered newsworthy. In fact, the President’s speech sounded much like an election speech – he used the opportunity to rattle off a list of supposed government achievements.”

Maimane said he requested a meeting with Jimmy Matthews, the head of news for the SABC, regarding the special live broadcast.

“On the face of it, last night’s broadcast amounts to nothing more than political abuse of the national broadcaster. This is unacceptable at any time, but particularly so just months before a national election,” said Maimane.

Maimane is requesting answers from the SABC leadership pertaining to the basis upon which the decision was made to cover the dinner party speech live and why it was not reported on during ordinary news bulletins.

Furthermore, the DA would like to know the newsworthy factor of the speech, which convinced the SABC to broadcast the speech during prime time, if the SABC plans to avoid such “abuses” in the run up to next year’s election, and if not – would the SABC be prepared to offer the same courtesy to other leaders of other national political parties.

Posted in: Broadcasting

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