The ANC is pressuring President Kgalema Motlanthe to sign the SABC bill into law as the ruling party wants to get rid of the broadcaster's board, news boss Snuki Zikalala and some of his political journalists who are allegedly associated with breakaway COPE, writes Siyabonga Mkhwanazi in The Star.

The controversial Broadcasting Amendment Bill – which will make it easier for politicians to dissolve the SABC board – was sparked by infighting within the ANC over the composition of the board, and was passed by parliament last year.

Later, Motlanthe was quizzed by the ANC's national working committee (NWC) about his delay in signing the bill. His explanation – that the bill was legally flawed – caused ructions within the NWC, leading to an exchange between Motlanthe and senior comrades.

on Wednesday, ANC chief whip Nyami Booi confirmed that the party was not happy with Motlanthe's procrastination and he would meet the president today about the outstanding bill.

"As chief whip, we are concerned because we raised public expectations (that the bill was going to be signed immediately after adoption by parliament). We are trying to engage the president (over) the delay."

Booi said parliament had done its work by ensuring that the bill was fast-tracked and passed, and now the onus was on the executive to complete the process so that things would start moving.

"I am receiving queries every day from my members (of parliament) and the broader public."

However, the pressure emanates from the ruling party's unhappiness with Zikalala and some of his senior journalists, especially political correspondent Sophie Mokoena's alleged pro-COPE coverage.

Members claim Mokoena is a member of COPE and attends the party's meetings.

SA Communist Party chief Blade Nzimande, who is also on the ANC's NWC, told a rally in the Eastern Cape recently that "some of the SABC journalists are sitting in COPE meetings".

However, COPE spokesperson Sipho Ngwema denied that Zikalala, Mokoena or any other SABC journalist sat in on their meetings, and accused the ANC of trying to influence the SABC's editorial policy.

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