SACP Statement on President Mbeki’s SABC radio interviews

5 December 2007

The SACP is outraged and regards as extremely scandalous of the public broadcaster, the SABC, to give President Mbeki a two-hour live interview, linked to about 15 of the SABC’s radio stations, tonight. This is nothing but a blatant abuse of the resources of the public broadcaster to, essentially, support a faction in the ANC in the run up to the Polokwane Conference.

We have consistently pointed out over the last few years that the SABC news must operate as a true public broadcaster and not be drawn into internal political struggles in the ANC or any of its Alliance partners. This action by the SABC News practically takes it back to the darkest days of the apartheid regime and is allowing itself to be used as a propaganda mouthpiece of a faction in the ruling party. We have also consistently pointed out hat Dr Snuki Zikalala and Sophie Mokoena in particular, have been in the forefront of this dangerous destruction of the image of the public broadcaster, and its deviation from its public mandate.

It is also clear to us as the SACP that this interview would not have been possible without the involvement of government itself. This is part of a very disturbing pattern where the state, ministerial and public resources have been unleashed to basically support one of the two presidential candidates in the African National Congress. This also further underlines, and is deeply connected to, the blatant interferences by a section of the ANC leadership in the appointment of the new board of the SABC.

As the SACP we wish to warn that it is precisely this behavior that has caused all the tensions inside our movement and alliance, and goes to confirm our suspicions that a certain layer of the ANC leadership, using state and public institutions, has abrogated to itself the right to lead the state and our movement in perpetuity.

We therefore call upon the working class as a whole and generally our poor communities to reject this manipulation of our public broadcaster and embark on an intensified campaign to expose this blatant, factionalist positioning of the SABC. We also specifically call upon our allied trade union formation, the Communication Workers’ Union, and all other trade unions in the public broadcaster, to take up this matter urgently.

The SABC owes the workers and the poor of our country, and South African society as a whole, a huge explanation on this score!

Issued by:

Malesela Maleka
SACP Spokesperson – 082 226 1802