The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been slammed by a fuming
Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad after the broadcaster aired a
documentary on crime in SA, broadcast at the time that President Thabo
Mbeki made his state of the nation address, writes Wyndham Hartley in Business Day.
The documentary was filmed in parts of Hillbrow and concluded that SA was the crime capital of the world.
African National Congress (ANC) MP Mike Masutha got the debate rolling on Tuesday with a memberÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s statement in the National Assembly that said crime statistics showed there had been considerable improvements in the situation in Hillbrow. He condemned the BBCÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s programme.
Pahad, using the ministerial slot to comment on membersÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ statements, lashed out, saying that the BBC report was ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œselective, one-sided and distortedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â. One could not understand how it could have come from an institution with such a good reputation for fair reporting.
He said government had many times acknowledged that crime was unacceptably high in SA and had consistently made more and more resources available in the fight against crime.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe need an explanation for this broadcast,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Pahad said.
He then laid a trap for the opposition, reading a letter to a newspaper editor which complained of rampant crime.
When opposition MPs interjected and asked him how he could explain the letter, he announced that the letter had been written to the editor of a newspaper in Halifax, Canada.
Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.