Right2Know protesters call for Motsoeneng and Muthambi to go

“They are becoming opposition” Motsoeneng reportedly says in Parliament

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Photo of protesters
Supporters of the Right2Know campaign outside Parliament earlier today. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks

About 50 supporters of Right2Know protested outside Parliament this morning, demanding that steps be taken to resolve the SABC crisis.

According to Busi Mtabane, Right2Know National Coordinator, the organisation picketed today because the Portfolio Committee on Communications was meeting the SABC board.

“We are worried about censorship at the public broadcaster. SABC is a public broadcaster but is slowly becoming a state broadcaster pushing government propaganda,” said Mtabane before she and several others attended the portfolio committee meeting.

In the meeting they intended to hand a letter to the portfolio committee.

Part of the letter read, “Members of Parliament have been complicit in the decline of the SABC. The committee has failed to fill board vacancies dating as far back as two years, neglecting its duties in terms of the Broadcasting Act and leaving us with a barely quorate board that rubber stamp all of [Hlaudi Motsoeneng] and the executive’s reckless decisions instead of holding them to account.”

Some protesters were demanding the dismissal of SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi.

“It is important that those people who are bringing the SABC into disrepute and prohibiting free media should be held accountable, and if not they should be dismissed. The public broadcaster is key to South African democracy,” said Marlise Richter from Sonke Gender Justice.

“We as R2K members have come here to call for Muthambi and Hlaudi to be fired,” said a woman from Blikkiesdorp who did not want her name used.

She and several other women from Delft had brought children with them. “We want them to learn from an early age to know their rights,” she said.

The protesters sang and danced in front of Parliament. Some were holding placards saying: “Hlaudi Must Fall!!”, “Faith M must go!!”, “Safe SABC!!” and “We want new SABC board”.

We were unable to get comment from Motsoeneng. However, ENCA reporter Lester Kiewit Tweeted that Motsoeneng told the committee meeting, “These NGOs, why aren’t they marching if the SABC and others don’t show positive stories? They are becoming opposition.”

And Fin24 reported him saying, “Why do people obsess about the SABC? Why so much interest? They shouldn’t be. I don’t need to account to them if they don’t give the SABC any money.“

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TOPICS:  Freedom of Expression Government

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