The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) could‚ in an “extreme” case‚ have its licence revoked.
That is according to the Independent Communication Authority of SA’s (Icasa’s) Rubben Mohlaloga when questioned by 702’s John Robbie about SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s reaction to its ruling against the broadcaster.
Motsoeneng had on Monday said “no one will tell us what to do” after Icasa made a decision that compels the SABC to reverse its ban on airing the destruction of property during protests.
Mohlaloga told 702 on Tuesday that various sanctions — from a caution to a fin‚ and‚ in extreme cases‚ a licence being “suspended or revoked” — were available to Icasa if the broadcaster did not comply with its rulings.
He says the SABC had seven days to comply or indicate that it would take the ruling on legal review.
The SABC’s Kaizer Kganyago later on Tuesday told the radio station that the SABC would take the decision to the courts‚ echoing Motsoeneng’s vow on Monday to approach the High Court or the Constitutional Court for relief.
“We are challenging that ruling … we are equal to the task‚” says Motsoeneng.
He had also said all newsrooms censored news in taking daily publishing decisions.
The fact that no good news was published showed that there was censorship in all news organisations‚ he says.
In May‚ Media Monitoring Africa‚ the SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition and the Freedom of Expression Institute lodged a complaint with Icasa’s complaints and compliance committee‚ challenging the validity of the SABC’s ban on protests.
In the aftermath of the ban‚ a number of senior journalists at the broadcaster face disciplinary action for questioning the decision.
The media briefing was disturbed by a protester who shouted “away with Hlaudi” and “history will judge you”. He was subsequently removed by security.