IFP Calls For Urgent Meeting To Deal With SABC Crisis

The Inkatha Freedom Party is shocked by recent reports of the summary termination of employment, without due process, of SABC specialist producer, Busisiwe Ntuli, and prominent parliamentary journalist, Lukhanyo Calata. This is the latest of a string of dismissals by the public broadcaster.

IFP MP on Communications, Ms Liezl van der Merwe MP, said, “The IFP remains concerned about the state of affairs at the SABC. We are deeply distressed over the manner in which the SABC has conducted itself in targeting the ‘SABC 8’ for summary termination of employment because of the stand they have taken against enforced censorship by the public broadcaster. The IFP will do whatever it can to support the ‘SABC 8’ and we reiterate our calls for an urgent sitting of the Portfolio Committee on Communications with the Minister and SABC, over this matter.”

The IFP is again calling on the SABC to allow its journalists to work in an environment free of fear and intimidation and where they are able to report on news as it happens, in a balanced and objective manner, without being subjected to censorship.

“While the ruling party has tried to distance itself from the ever-unfolding crisis at the SABC, it must be reminded that the current inability of the Board to deal with the crisis must be squarely laid at their feet,” said van der Merwe.

Political interference at the SABC has been ruthlessly built into the system and exploited by the ruling party. It’s surprising that the ANC would now claim not to have any knowledge of where it all went wrong.

“The IFP has been part and parcel of appointing SABC Boards. Each time the most qualified, passionate South Africans have to make way for deployees of the ANC. Often, in the past, during negotiations between the ruling party and opposition parties, when a new name was put on the table, the ANC would first have to break to consult Luthuli House. We have experienced this process first hand,” said van der Merwe.

She added, “The entire Board must be dissolved and a truly non-partisan Board, that has the best interests of South Africans at heart, must be appointed, so as to successfully deal with the rot that has become endemic at the public broadcaster.”

The IFP thanks all SABC staff members who have spoken out about the dire conditions at the SABC. We thank all staff of the SABC for their hard work and dedication despite difficult circumstances.

“The SABC is a national asset and it must be protected,” said van der Merwe, “The IFP will support all those who have embarked on campaigns to safeguard the freedom of press in South Africa. If the impasse at the SABC is not resolved without delay the IFP will again call on its rank and file to stop paying their TV licences as a form of protest.”

Ms LL van der Merwe, MP
082 729 2510

IFP Media / Parliament