The SABC has downplayed allegations that two of its political reporters have been sidelined in the broadcasters’ coverage of ANC president Jacob Zuma, writes Thabo Mkhize in The Times.


The Times reported yesterday that two reporters had complained of being blocked from covering Zuma.

Mzwandile Mbeje, an SABC TV reporter, and his radio counterpart, Tshepo Ikaneng, said they had been benched by the public broadcaster because it perceived them to be sympathetic in their reporting on the ANC president.

But yesterday Kaizer Kganyago, a spokesman for the SABC, said: “We don’t have a policy that excludes anyone on a partisan basis, we are only governed by the editorial policy of the SABC.

“If they believe they have serious grievances they can lodge them with the SABC … we can’t do anything based on allegations,” he said.

Mbeje left for Dar Es Salaam yesterday, to cover Zuma’s visit to Tanzania, but Ikaneng, who was also scheduled to take the trip, stayed behind and has taken voluntary leave.

The SABC said yesterday that “there was nothing sinister in Ikaneng’s re-assignment from the Tanzanian trip ”.

But it added that, should a reporter’s political opinions “colour their coverage to the extent that their reports no longer adhere to the provisions of accuracy, fairness, impartiality and balance contained in the SABC’s editorial code, corrective action will be taken”.

Click here to read the full report, posted on