So here’s what Hlaudi really had to say about the SABC and censorship

In light of the protests that took place outside the SABC’s offices on Monday and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) ordering the SABC to explain its decision not to broadcast footage of destruction of property during protests, we looked back at the discussion that took place on SAfm on 8 June. SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng and spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago spoke to SAfm’s Sakina Kamwendo, and a few listeners about the SABC’s controversial decision. This is what went down:

Sakina Kamwendo (SK): Now there’s been mixed reactions on South Africans regarding the public broadcaster’s recently introduced radical plans and changes. Although some of the changes have been widely criticised, many have observed that the SABC has the right to make the changes to its programming. Several commentators have also said that reasons underlying these radical changes should be to improve the SABC content in line with the SABC’s mandate as public broadcaster.

On The Forum at Eight today, we will host the SABC’s COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng as we engage him to try to unpack the SABC’s vision for the future and we just waiting for his arrival here in studio. In the meantime we will take you back to a debate that was happening. SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, he was basically attending a debate at the National Press Club in Pretoria and this is what ensued:

Debate at national press club
Press Council Executive Director, Joe Thloloe: I believe very strongly that it is our responsibility as media people to inform the public about the state of the nation fully. We don’t have the luxury to decide that, this bit, the South African public shouldn’t see or know. If you don’t like what the mirror tells you, that you are not the fairest of them all, you don’t smash the mirror.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng (HM): I am not apologetic about what is happening within in the organisation. Journalists can’t tell us or print media or any commercial radio station, they can’t decide for SABC. We are there to do our job and we will always do our job, we are not apologetic about what is happening at the SABC. Actually the people complaining; they are in minority and the people those raising concerns are in minority, they are not more than ten.

Thloloe: It’s that we should guard with our lives the same way as we fought apartheid with our lives, we should guard freedom of expression with our lives.

HM: Freedom of expression… we need to express ourselves but we need to be responsible and be accountable. It does not mean you can’t just do everything because of freedom of expression.

The Forum at 8 on SAfm
SK: […] But while we wait I think let’s talk about freedom of expression, the role of the public broadcaster and how you see it. Are you au fait with the mandate of the SABC? Are we living up to that as the SABC? A whole number of matters to be dealt with here, also your comments about that debate at the Press Club, what did you make of it? Basically your general view on what is going on at the SABC but I must just caution that some of these questions, I cannot answer. We cannot answer here and this is precisely why we invited Mr Motsoeneng to come and give the answers to those questions, but as of this point we do not know exactly where he is. We did confirm the interview we’re just trying track down either him or the SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago to talk to us about these matters and to give you the answers that you require.

Mr Motsoeneng will now join us on the line, but he’s not there yet. In the meantime let me take your calls and hear what you have to say. As soon as Mr Motsoeneng comes through, we will put him on to answer these questions.

Dennis Bloem (caller): I personally told Mr Motsoeneng that I congratulate him on the 90% local music issue that he has raised. But on this one, I want to tell him that this is now plain dictatorship. He can’t do that, that it is a public broadcaster. It is not his own private property. He can never do this.

SK: This one, what are you exactly talking about?

Dennis Bloem: This thing of people, when there’s protests, people are burning and whatever. He said that the other day that when cameras are there, people are waiting for the cameras to come, and then people will start burning. The issue of Vuwani in Limpopo, Sakina, these people burnt 23 schools or 30 schools at night, there was no cameras there but they have burnt those things. The apartheid government also tried to suppress people in the very same way but we are free today.

The Hector Pieterson picture that is all over the world was exposed by the media. The apartheid government has also tried to do that but they have failed. This Hlaudi Motsoeneng is coming with this thing that will fail. We must tell him that thing will never happen. This thing of gagging and intimidating his staff, we know that staff are very much unhappy there. It’s a pity that he is not there but I am sure he is listening.

SK: He is listening, he’s on the line so we will put that to him.

Dennis Bloem: This thing of intimidating, suppressing the workers there at SABC, it will end because this thing will never last for long. He took away the Sunday, The Editors forum on Sunday. It’s dictatorship! But we know that he’s also getting instructions from Luthuli house.

SK: That’s Dennis Bloem in Pretoria. Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng is on the line now, let’s just welcome him, the COO of the SABC. Thanks for your time Mr Motsoeneng.

HM: Thank you very much, Sakina.

SK: Now Mr Motsoeneng there has been quite of ructions around some of the decisions that the SABC have taken of late. Whilst many have welcomed the call to 90% local music being played on SABC platforms, there are other decisions that have not been met with the same optimism. And Dennis Bloem there for example pointing out the idea of not covering certain news events which show public property being destructed. Also the program The Editors on SAfm weekend and basically saying some of these decisions are tantamount to dictatorship on your part.

HM: *laughs* You see, Dennis Bloem is confused always. We are not dealing with politics here. We are dealing with reality. I think this will concentrate on building COPE and not interfering with the process of the SABC. SABC, we are a public broadcaster, we are guided by the editorial policy of the SABC, we are guided by the broadcasting act. SABC is unique, SABC can’t act like any media. We are not in competition with any media. Dennis Bloem is confusing issues here. You can’t compare a democratical country and an apartheid country. Those are two different matters, they don’t even make sense. This he knows and he should go read the editorial policy of the SABC and read the ICASA regulations, because what we are doing is within ICASA regulations. SABC can’t show visuals, those visuals that can harm the community. SABC can’t show the visuals that has huge implications for the kids. We are building the nation here, we are not just politicking. If he wants to politic, this is not the place to politic and actually by the act we should not even try and influence the organisation.

SK: And when you talk about you should not show visuals that would harm the nation, how would you define harming the nation?

HM: You see Sakina, we are a public broadcaster. We have responsibility to show visuals, but if those visuals are not in the interest of the public, they are not in the interest of young people, we can’t show such visuals. And I said we are going to cover all these protest; people have the right to protest but we are not going show when people see the cameras of the SABC and the journalist, they start the burning any buildings. One day they will burn the hospitals, which means people who are saying SABC should be very excited and cover all these people who are burning buildings, they are not leaders. Same with Dennis Bloem, he is not a leader, I do not know who will vote for Dennis Bloem and he is also an adult, a parent. I don’t know what kind of a parent he is.

SK: Does that mean that over the years the SABC were actually contravening the broadcast at the SABC’s editorial policy, the constitution and other documents that actually regulate this entity in showing all of these visuals as we had been over years?

HM: Sakina, you must know as an SABC employee and when you talk there, you need to talk like an SABC employee. What I mean in this case is, read the editorial policy, you as SABC people need to know what the editorial policy is saying. And it is important for you as journalists of the SABC to represent the public, to represent the SABC. Dennis Bloem is talking about us removing a certain editors forum, we are changing all the programs within the SABC. Why is he concerned about editors forum and even print media editors coming to the SABC? We don’t go to print media, we don’t dictate to them how should they cover stories. Actually you see if we talk about fairness, let me define fairness. Fairness is you cover negativity stories and positive stories. In any editorial newsroom in South Africa, when journalists sit down and discuss stories, they just discuss negativity. Even at the SABC, I said that can’t happen and I am not apologetic about those issues. Because if you are saying fair and balanced stories which means you have to reflect on the positive stories, you need to reflect on the bad stories.

SK: Mr Motsoeneng, I believe you don’t have much time with us. So I want to bring in as many listeners and you can answer their questions because some of these questions we have been unable to answer. Let’s hear from George in Bloemfontein.

George (caller): Sakina, I am sorry to say I am disappointed at this action. To start with, Ntate Motsoeneng knows very well, the public has to know, the public has the right to know. Would they have known what happened to Hector Pieterson and how brutally he was murdered. Would they have known about a lot of stuff. I hear Ntate Motsoeneng does not want to answer the questions, he’s attacking Ntate Dennis Bloem. Ntate Motsoeneng, please, we, the public, appointed you, and the government appointed you to give what the public has to hear. He doesn’t have to come with autocratic style of not listening to the public. The matter happens to the public or is in the public interest. So he’s supposed to be telling the people the truth and let the people decide whether they don’t want to hear. Or the people switch off their televisions if they are not happy. Let him not be selective about what the public has to see.

SK: Thank you so much George in Bloemfontein. Thapelo, you are in Bethlehem.

Thapelo (caller): I think it’s high time that the SABC, especially with regards to the position of the COO, it must try and introduce literal thinking. Literal thinking doesn’t pass definite statements, unquestionable statements. What is happening currently is that the COO is showing a weakness because the SABC as a media house it’s supposed to be the eyes and the ears of the people. If things continue they way the COO is saying, it means we would have not seen Marikana happening. We would not have seen the June 16 1976 happening. So we must be realistic when we deal with such issues, we must not be romantic. Even currently under the leadership of the current COO our Sesotho radio Lesedi fm has been turned into a station of clowns. It’s only clowning there; there is no… intellectual thought is suppressed, critical thinking is suppressed.

SK: Thank you. Unathi, you are in Mount Frere.

Unathi (caller): Firstly Sakina I would like to express my displeasure with this guy. Sir Hlaudi does not have any regard for this nation, he wants to do the very same dictation that was done by the apartheid government. And I cannot be surprised if I read in the media the next few days that are coming, that you have been removed as a journalist or as the host of this show. This guy is a dictator. He cannot dictate to us as nation which programmes or which visuals we must see. If a person does not want to see a visual, the person must change the channel, simple as that.

SK: Thank you so much Unathi. So basically there, Mr Motsoeneng, the callers that have come through are saying the public has the right to know. They don’t want a sanitised version of what the news may be and whatever needs to be done has to be in the public interest. From those callers at least, it seems that this decision is not in the public interest.

HM: You know those are certain people because we went all around the provinces, we did consult our own people. Actually, the majority of our people they are saying SABC should not put violence, they are not interested in crime and other matters. But we are operating within our regulations and governance and ICASA regulations. So there are no issues, we can’t operate outside those regulations. But it doesn’t mean when people call, they represent the majority of the people.

SK: So tell us about these people you say represent the majority then, the ones you’ve spoken to who said that they don’t want to see all of this on television.

HM: Now look I was in other radio stations, including SABC radio stations, I mean we have been engaging our people for many, many years. Even now we are still engaging our people. When it is SAfm it doesn’t mean other radio stations other people have the same views. I was in Kwazulu Natal, all the people are very excited about what we said. All the bishops, the churches, they are very happy because they know the responsibility of the SABC as a public broadcaster and here we are not talking about politics. People should not compare a democratic society and apartheid, those are two different animals.

SK: But does it stop one from actually drawing parallels when one sees them?

HM: Look Sakina. Any media house, they have their own policy, they have their own regulations. SABC we have our own regulations and we have our own policy and we will stick to those policy within the organisation. When people call, saying SABC is wrong and actually we know what we are doing is exactly what we are supposed to do. We are not going to change that. We have a responsibility, we are a public broadcaster.

SK: Now this morning on The Forum at 8, we were meant to host SABC COO Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng to engage, to unpack the corporation’s vision for the future and answer some of those questions that you’ve been posing to us that we have not been able to answer.

Unfortunately we could only speak to Mr Motsoeneng for those 15 minutes. We are told that we will be getting the SABC Spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago shortly. So in the meantime I will take your views. You heard what Mr Motsoeneng’s explanation was for some of the decisions that have been taken. Let’s talk about that; let’s talk about the role of the public broadcaster and what your view is on it as we wait for Mr Kaizer Kganyago, who hopefully will be able to answer more of the questions that you have. Xolani, you are in Klerksdorp.

Xolani (caller): You know I wanted to be a praise singer of Mr Hlaudi. Mr Hlaudi must be declared a national key point. We must not hear his voice, we must not even see him on television. This guy must be declared as the worst wonders of this world. Look, I laugh it up because if every camera man and woman to catch the moment, journalists work very hard to get stories and we do not invite them and say we are going to burn buildings.According to Hlaudi, Hector Pieterson, Soweto Uprising, Marikana, Andries Tatane, the Zuma booing, these are things we must not see because they are not preventing the public’s interest … I heard that Uzalo people that watch on SABC 1. The show has violence, people shooting each other, is he happy about that? The last thing is that there is Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, cellphone pictures. Now this is what we want, this is a source of news, we don’t depend only on SABC. You know, this guy must be really thrown away and be locked somewhere. He is a disaster, thanks Sakina.

SK: Thank you so much, Xolani. Eddie in Odendaalsrus, good morning.

Eddie (caller): You know when Vuwani was burning, I am one of the people who called and rebuked the action. And I also received a call from somebody in Vuwani who said I must not talk because I don’t know what’s happening in Vuwani. You know we appreciate the innovation and initiative that are taking place in the SABC. But there is only this one, the man has gone too far. You know what, Mr Hlaudi must stop behaving like a politician. The other thing that I want to say, together with Mr Kganyago, maybe we need to take them to the Constitutional Hill and give them a copy of the constitution, chapter two, section sixteen of the Constitution. And I am telling you, maybe we are entertaining the wrong people here… Maybe it will be better for us to get the portfolio committee on communications or even ICASA to respond to this. The last thing is that in future people will be saying, “TV licences, what for?” because we the very same people who behave like they are the gods of this world. Thank you very much.

SK: So many messages also coming through, most of them comments, but of course still questions about what is going on at the SABC as well. And this email says: “For two years I have been away from South Africa and I have gratefully relied on SAfm to get both accepted and opposing views of what’s happening in the country. It was very sad when the Editors programme didn’t air on Sunday and now I can’t understand why the daily headlines for the local newspapers have been removed as well. I love South Africa and it is always great to feel allowed to enjoy unbiased patriotism. I am left wondering if the decisions to cut the seemingly negative stems are from a desire to portray the ruling party better. Being in BRICS doesn’t mean becoming like China and Russia when it comes to dissemination of information. It’s really sad.” That’s from Muweneya. The SABC’s spokesperson Mr Kaizer Kganyago joins us on the line now. Thanks for your time this morning, Mr Kganyago.

Kaizer Kganyago (KK): Goodmorning Sakina and good morning to your listeners.

SK: Mr Kganyago, I think Muweneya’s email there captures the sentiment of quite a number of messages that we have received. In terms of people are feeling that they don’t quite understand the rationale behind the canning of The Editors programme that used to air on Sunday mornings. And also the reasons for no longer doing the daily newspaper headlines on the show.

KK: Let me start by saying that unfortunately people have made up their minds about the reasons behind this. From where we are sitting it is purely a matter of making sure that we revamp our lineup. People must appreciate that radio is dynamic; we change our programs all the time. In this particular instance it is worrying because this particular programme is the one that becomes targeted to say why do you want to change it. I don’t know whether people know that this programme has been there even before 1994. It was started in the eighties, it has been there for many many years and we came to a position where the station believes that the needed to revamp the programmes and remove it. I know, or I suspect that the reason why it is so much in focus is because it was profiling what was in the newspapers and what was coming over. And that was free publicity for them, that is what I suspect is the reason for the specific attention on this particular issue. We change programs on all our 18 radio stations all the time, and I have never heard people say “why are you doing it?”. The newspapers themselves they have got features that they change all the time and nobody is asking them why are they changing it. It is something that is really amazing because it is getting this attention and I know the attention was brought about by some of the editors in the newspapers because they were getting the mileage of the stories that are in their papers.

SK: Just looking at the act because Mr Motsoeneng was very clear that we need to be clear about the SABC’s mandate and looking at the broadcasting act. And it does talk about being responsive to audience needs, and many people are asking the question on my feed this morning Mr Kganyago, about whether there was any research done, whether there is any empirical evidence that would actually go along with the sort of decision making that we’ve seen of late.

KK: No definitely, we really engage our public and people who listen to our radio stations will know that when we have changes of line ups and whatever we go out to people and each and every radio station deals with their audiences. We also as management go out and engage communities, we go into public meetings. I will just give a simple example of a meeting that we had now with people in Durban on Friday where we go in there and engage people and understand them what it’s about. But also, we need to be responsible as a broadcaster, because when certain trends happen we are able to understand the causes of this thing. Therefore sometimes people think that research when it is done by scientific people in a room somewhere and making whatever decisions they make and how they go about it. We also engage. People will know for example when we are dealing with an issue with the editorial policy we went to all the provinces. We engaged people, they raised those issues and they are there they are on record and we are able to shift around and say these are the issues that are at play.

SK: Well let’s take more calls. SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago with us now to answer your questions. Willie in Cape Town, good morning.

Willie (caller): What Motsoeneng does is to swear at people and think that the SABC belongs to him, that is extremely wrong. These attacks on people, for example what he said to Bloem as I quote him, him I am referring to Motsoeneng; they will not vote for him is wrong. He goes on to say, “we consulted our people”. Which people is he talking about? Because if he says “our people” it means specific people. He has not consulted people of our country and if he says he wants particular people to vote for you, that is extremely wrong. This is something that has got to be corrected.

SK: Thank you so much Willie in Cape Town. Phumzile van Damme, DA member of parliament good morning.

Phumzile van Damme (PvD): The SABC must not mislead the public, firstly clearly there is no empirical research that was done for any of the ridiculous decisions made by the public broadcaster of late. Mr Kganyago must also not mislead the public and say there was public consultation on the SABC’s editorial policy. The reason why Mr Motsoeneng is allowed to make all these crazy decisions is because the revised editorial policy was approved by the SABC board in secret. They have done this because they want to protect the ANC from any tough questioning on radio that’s why Mr Motsoeneng even ran away because you were asking him tough questions. So the SABC must be honest, they are receiving instructions from Luthuli house that’s why Hlaudi is making all these really really mad decisions.

SK: Well Mr Motsoeneng had an emergency to attend to Ms van Damme but let’s get a response from Mr Kganyago

PvD: I doubt that very very much.

SK: Mr Kganyago?

KK: It is very unfortunate that Ms van Damme is able to speak about things that she doesn’t know anything about, maybe because she wasn’t there at the time. We have got proof where we met all political parties about the editorial policy. There is records of all of that; all of them even made submissions to us. We went to all the provinces, we met political parties separate with that process. So for him to come and say we are misleading the public to say we have consulted on the policy.It’s just that when they don’t agree with what is in the policy than they say we did not consult. The consultation happened, people of this country were part of it and I was part of it. I went all over the country with the team that was doing it. And it has happened. Therefore for her to come and say we are misleading the public maybe she wasn’t there at the time.

SK: Well that’s the response to Ms Phumzile van Damme of the DA. Itumeleng in Mahikeng, good morning to you.

Itumeleng (caller): Sakina, I am perplexed by the comments or the utterances of Mr Motsoeneng when he says they consulted their people. Who are their people? And this thing, goes to undermine the people of this country. Also, I want to understand, how long will this censorship going to last? Is it going to last a minute after the elections or what? Please, I have heard you Sakina asking asking some probing questions I was worried Sakina he was getting angry as you were probing and probing. Be careful when you speak to these guys, tomorrow you might not be sitting in that chair. Thank you.

SK: Wow. Vincent in Cape Town, good morning.

Vincent (caller): You know the strange thing is I have been listening and I have been hearing everyone calling and disagreeing blatantly with everything that Mr Motsoeneng is doing. Why aren’t the people that were consulted at least rescuing him and call and say, “Wait we were consulted, we know what is going on and we agreed to it”. Even the churches that he’s talking about. You know church leaders would first call and protest against the pornography that is shown on TV. That is traumatising for the kids and it has long lasting effects than the burning buildings. Which, by the way, those kids when they go to school in thousands, they see their schools burnt. So it doesn’t matter if SABC airs it or not, they are affected by the schools that are burnt. But the pornography that is seen by the whole country at different hours of the day, they should be focusing on such things not being aired on TV. Not come with those dictatorship mentalities and and say this is the reason why they’re doing this. We know that’s not the reason, it’s a lie and one thing that I am scared of now is that this man is still at the helm of the SABC. You can even see when you interviewed him, and I am not saying this is what you are agree on as well to protect your job. He has a dictatorship kind of mentality leadership style. He was opposing everything that you were saying, Instead of listening to the facts and addressing the facts. He is attacking the person who is holding the ball, not the ball itself. Yes the guy from COPE was maybe taking a political target on him, but there was no need to attack him and say he is not a leader. What about everyone that has been calling, are they all not leaders or potential leaders? Everyone who disagrees for some reason with the ANC or the policies they are throwing us with doesn’t become a leader in his eyes.

SK: Thats Vincent in Cape Town. Alex Masilo in Johannesburg, good morning.

Alex (caller): Let us just intervene on one point. Mr Kganyago is saying that they consulted with all political parties. I say that the word all must be deleted because as the South African Communist Party, we were never invited for any consultation on this change. We never participated; we don’t have any correspondence to that effect so the word “all” is completely wrong. Perhaps it must be said that some political parties that were consulted. Secondly, the editorial policy particularly the banning of protest images should be relooked at because as a country we cannot be reduced to a homogenous entity of people. Who upon viewing those images on television begin to mobilise to destroy our country. The argument is intellectually bankrupt, it has got to be looked at. As a matter fact in the past those images were shown on television, we went out to condemn those incidences of the destruction of public property. This shows that we are not a people who have the same frame of mind. South Africa will be finished now if those images really motivated people to do this. The last point, the SABC is screening violent movies okay, very violent American movies. If you watch SABC channels over the weekend you will see, so the point they are making about this violence is not consistent with the total programming, when you watch the SABC television. Thank you.

SK: Thank you so much Alex Masilo, who is with the South African Communist Party. Mr Kganyago?

KK: When I said we consulted all political parties, at that particular moment we were dealing with political parties that are represented in parliament. Maybe I should say yes I can remove all if it’s at the basis of what he is talking about. But from where we are sitting, we have got to make it clear, I don’t know if people have read the statement that we issued when we were talking about the footage that we are not going to show. The impression that I am getting is that people are saying that we are saying that we are not going to show violent protests and that’s not what we are saying. We are saying that we are going to continue to show the protests, but in incidences where people are burning properties, we have taken the stand that says we are not going to be seen encouraging that kind of behaviour by exposing it. Because proof is there that people then want to showcase that and do what they are supposed to do in front of the camera and some of the journalists will tell you that people would call and say, “come to such and such a tip off we are going to be burning whatever,” because they want that to be seen as a way of attracting attention.

SK: Well let’s go to Juluka Tshauke in Malamulele goodmorning to you.

Juluka (caller): Let me just say one word in Shangaan before I go on with the discussion we say in Shangaan or Tsonga, rigogo o be wa ratla kama, which means a cane or a stick, you bend it while it’s still wet. I for myself agree with what the SABC’s saying, Mr Motsoeneng and the spokesperson about these violence and broadcasting. I mean it does not make sense to show those things, what society are we trying to build here? The only problem about South Africans, we are clouded with negativity. I can give you an example when 9/11 happened in America, we never saw anyone running or flying from the building and hit the ground. But our society, South Africa media that is shown explicitly. What are we telling our kids as we speak now .

SK: Mr Julaka Tshauke that is not true, we saw all of that happening when 9/11 was happening. I vividly remember exactly where I was and what those visuals were.

Juluka: But were those shown on SABC or on all the American channels? No, it never aired. We saw a person flying but before that person hit the ground, that visual was stopped. I watched also. Maybe you might have seen other visuals. But what I am trying to say is that we cannot allow anarchy, we cannot allow those visuals to be shown. When I understand very well Mr Motsoeneng is saying, they are saying that they will show whatever is happening as that is their responsibility as the SABC. But they cannot promote and show when things are burning. I think what we should understand it as South Africans.

SK: And then the question becomes how are you promoting it and I think that’s what people are grappling with. But let’s hear from Busiwe Khaya in East London, good morning.

Busiwe (caller): I work for Eastern Cape government and when the decision was taken, which I disagree with, that there will be no open talk lines and there will be reduction on political content on lifestyle shows on SABC. I was called by an SABC producer saying they will not interview my MEC they would rather interview me or the HOD of the department. I disputed that because of the decisions that the SABC took. The decision taken by SABC now or Hlaudi not to show these violent protests is a wrong decision because it assumes that SABC journalists go to these stories and just take what they given and they are not scrutinising that. They are not questioning that, they are not questioning the people that are doing these things. Instead of a decision taken by an individual, it should be part of the editorial policy. And Kaizer must not come here and say he went to all these roadshows, he was not in Mthatha where there was a discussion. Where this issue was not presented by the people who were discussing the editorial policy. I think we should go back, SABC should review this, ask its journalists to take decisions, not the corporation. Because I understand that journalists are experiencing this thing, there is no dispute about that. But it should not be a decision taken by an individual it should be taken by the board and South Africans should talk about this. If Hlaudi has got a report, he should publish that report because without that report, it becomes and individual decision. It’s a wrong decision that government does not need because it portrays the ANC as the ANC that’s doing this thing, it affects the ANC as well. It affects our government. So it’s a wrong decision altogether.

SK: Thank you Busiwe Khaya, Jonathan in Pietermaritzburg.

Jonathan (caller): I just want to say that, what we’re hearing today from both these people that you’ve got there, is a dictatorship. We are heading for a dictatorship and our people must be very, very aware of what is happening. If they don’t want that violence, then they mustn’t show pre-apartheid violence either. Because they are using it and they are trying to keep the people quiet and it’s nonsense. If you look at 99% of the people that are calling in, we must know what’s going on in our country, it’s our democratic right –
SK: Ok we lost Jonathan there, one last caller in Port Elizabeth, Xolani.

Xolani (caller): Hi Sakina. Mine is very brief. South Africa currently under the current leadership is in a very sliding position. I will make an example what is happening. In the ANC, or rather the leadership, they want to take over all of the SOE’s but they are unable to do it straight and direct. So now they are killing them systematically so that they can start up their own businesses. Same thing happened at Eskom, they were killing it, and out of the blue, they told us that we need a nuclear build. And if you are aware, I’m sure everybody is aware, that there isthe ANN7 channel which at any time will take over all the SABC programming. We have lost Disney channel from SABC over to Etv, so most of programs that are supposed to go on SABC will be actually taken over by private channels and South Africans will miss out dearly and the leadership will gain a lot because they will be in charge or own the companies that will take over the programming that was supposed to run on SABC channels.

SK: Okay thank you so much Xolani. Well Mr Kganyago, as you heard there quite a bit of displeasure, people saying they actually were not consulted. What does this mean for the SABC, does this mean you going to go back to people, at least let’s take the people on this platform who are saying they were not consulted. What happens from here on?

KK: The unfortunate part is that we are not going to be able consult each and every individual. And at the time I was responding to this, I was responding to Ms van Damme who was saying that we have not consulted anyone, and therefore the issue of not consulting anyone as opposed to everybody saying, people as individuals saying “I was not consulted”, but it doesn’t move away the fact that we went out on a roadshow all over and unfortunately it’s not possible to consult each and every person in this country. But also, another interesting part is there was a guy who phoned from the Eastern Cape who phoned earlier on,he says that we have banned talk shows, and that cannot be real he is speaking on a talk show as he is speaking now and he says we have banned talk shows and I don’t know where he is getting that from. From where we are sitting, it is things like that, where people make general statements without looking at facts and most of the people sometimes misinterpret what we are saying and make it whatever they want it to be to suit whatever agendas. From where we are sitting as the SABC we believe that the decision that was made is right and people keep on saying, “Ja it is not right, you have gone against your editorial policies,” and whatever. We say in this country there are processes, you can go to the BCCSA where things can be adjudicated on and we will put our positions there and we will continue as the SABC to go and cover the protest marches and whatever that are happening, we will continue to do it without fear or favour and we will then be in a position to say we are not going to encourage people who are are going to be burning property. If they want to raise their issues we will put them on camera and deal with those issues and we will make sure that the public of South Africa knows. We will go tell people that 26 schools have been burnt in Vuwani but we will not show that footage where it is happening because we want to make sure our children do not get excited and think that that is the way of making sure that we can solve problems and that part is there in the ICASA regulations to say we should make sure we do not encourage the situations that violence is the only way of solving their problems.

SK: Well that’s unfortunately all we have time for this morning.Mr Kaizer Kganyago the SABC spokesperson and earlier on the SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng and thanks to you for your participation, always welcome, and thanks to the production team for putting it together.

Listen to the full debate here.|

Featured image by Ashraf Hendricks