Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) is deeply concerned by the SABC’s reported decision to ban the broadcast of Political Party advertisements, most recently the EFF.  A little over a week ago the SABC banned the broadcast of the DA advertisement. The advertisements not only raise issues that are in the public interest, but also issues that encourage robust debate. Common to both these advertisements is the allegation by the SABC that they incite violence.

Interestingly, if one looks at the DA and the EFF advert; both these adverts have many similarities. They both raise the issue of Nkandla, and both raise the issue of police brutality. They both use images that are already in the public domain. It is difficult to imagine how these adverts could possibly incite violence. Perhaps, the only problem with the EFF advert is the message at the end that says it will “destroy e-tolls physically”.

The issues raised in these adverts are key issues that concern all South Africans. The bigger question is then why is the SABC trying to silence these issues? Who is going to benefit from this?

MMA calls on the SABC to urgently and without delay broadcast the advertisements and adhere to their existing editorial policies and the elections regulations.