Durban – The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has complained about the SABC canning a scheduled live broadcast of its Workers’ Day celebrations.
“The IFPs leadership was stunned this morning to learn that an SABC broadcast crew was pulled by the SABC from IFP Workers Day activities after it had already arrived at the location, shortly before IFP President Velenkosini Hlabisa arrived,” said party Spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa on Monday.
“Whilst this is not the first time this has happened to the IFP, it is, however, concerning. The SABC has, in recent times, we believe, made great strides to restore its credibility as a public broadcaster.
“However, todays interference at the highest level is a clear warning that we are yet again on a slippery slope down the path of political bias and interference as we head towards the all-important and watershed 2024 Elections.”
The IFP said it was also telling that this incident comes only days after the ANC in KZN accused the SABC in KZN of being on the payroll of the IFP.
“It is clear that the ANC has now intervened at the highest level to curtail coverage of the IFP,” said Hlengwa.
“The IFP calls for a full-scale investigation into what led to this mornings decision: who made the call to cancel the IFPs Workers Day coverage? For what reason? And why were resources invested in sending a crew to an event, only to pull them later?
“We are sending a clear message to the SABC today: political bias ahead of the 2024 elections will not be tolerated.”
The IFP said the public broadcaster has a role and responsibility to cover all voices, views, and organisations, and should not be seen to be back under the control of the ruling party.
“If the SABC is not freed from political interference, we hold no hope that the 2024 Elections will be free and fair,” said Hlengwa.
Developing story …
*SABC comments will be added once The Bulrushes gets them