More claims of blacklisting at the SABC have been placed before a
committee of the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) in
support of a complaint brought against the public broadcaster, writes Jocelyn Newmarch in Business Day.


This will reopen debate on an issue that remains unresolved more
than two years after an inquiry found certain commentators had been
banned from appearing on the SABC, adding to pressure on the already
beleaguered institution.

Aubrey Matshiqi, Moeletsi Mbeki, Elinor Sisulu and Business Day
political editor Karima Brown had been banned from the SABC by the
public broadcaster's head of news and current affairs, Snuki Zikalala.

The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) filed a complaint last
year arguing that despite the findings of the Sisulu commission in
2006, which found that blacklisting did indeed occur, the SABC has
failed to implement the commission's recommendations.

These included that the role of group executive for news and current
affairs be restricted to general policy and strategy, and that the
group CE's role as editor-in-chief be reinforced. It said the board
should take note of concerns regarding Zikalala's management style.

Finally, there should be no attempt to exclude commentators, that
this should be incorporated into the SABC's editorial policies, and
that regular audits on the use of commentators should be conducted.

"It is our view that upon becoming aware of the commission's
recommendations, the SABC board should have taken corrective action
immediately, and publicly announced what these steps were to be," FXI
director Jane Duncan wrote in her affidavit to Icasa.

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