SABC leaves view­ers in dark as ANC poll­sters stoned

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - ASANDA SOKANYILE

ANC CAM­PAIGN­ERS were stoned and chased out of KwaZakhele in Port El­iz­a­beth dur­ing door- to- door cam­paign­ing on Thursday evening. The story was the lead item on Thursday night’s eNCA news bul­letin, but was not men­tioned on SABC news.

The Tues­day to Thursday 6.30 and 7pm bulletins on SABC were marked by pos­i­tive ANC cam­paign sto­ries, with lit­tle time af­forded to op­po­si­tion par­ties.

The 6.30pm bulletins on eNCA, by con­trast, of­fered more cov­er­age. Thursday evening, how­ever, brought the most ob­vi­ous omis­sion when the eNCA bul­letin led with ANC mem­bers do­ing door-to-door cam­paign­ing in KwaZakhele in Port El­iz­a­beth.

They were stoned and chased out of the area by an­gry res­i­dents who also did not af­ford Deputy Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture, Forestry and Fish­ery Bheki Cele an op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress them.

The cam­paign­ers were pulled out of houses they were vis­it­ing, ve­hi­cles were stoned and tyres burnt in the streets. Com­mu­nity mem­bers in the re­port cited dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the cur­rent ward coun­cil­lor can­di­date as the cause of the chaos, and said in in­ter­views they would not “al­low the ANC to cam­paign in the area” un­til their de­mands were met.

Cele was later seen de­part­ing the volatile area, leav­ing lo­cal lead­er­ship to deal with the sit­u­a­tion.

The SABC how­ever, led with dis­grun­tled IFP mem­bers who had vis­ited IEC of­fices to lay charges of in­tim­i­da­tion against the NFP.

The SABC’s cov­er­age of KwaZakhele was less than 30 sec­onds long. It con­tained no footage of the vi­o­lence and only showed Cele con­firm­ing the party was con­fi­dent about win­ning Nel­son Man­dela Bay mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Also on Thursday, the SABC failed to re­port on state­ments made by EFF leader Julies Malema in Marikana in North West, where he threat­ened the EFF would “ar­rest Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma” should they get the chance to lead South Africa.

ENCA also re­ported a polling sur­vey which in­di­cated the rul­ing party had gained a 3 per­cent in­crease in Tsh­wane but was los­ing sup­port in other ar­eas, with DA sup­port grow­ing and the EFF gain­ing ground.

The broad­caster an­nounced Icasa would make a de­ci­sion on the is­sue of cen­sor­ship on Thursday.

asanda.sokanyile@inl.co.za

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