Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) calls for 'immediate investigation' into 'regressive' SABC and "blatant censorship".

The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) says it is "exceedingly disconcerted" about the a growing number of problems and issues at the beleaguered South African public broadcaster, and the organisation is now calling for an "immediate investigation" into the "regressive" SABC.

"The Freedom of Expression Institute is exceedingly disconcerted by the series of occurrences involving the SABC, including the banning of radio and television political advertisements and the violation of the right to personal privacy through alleged staff surveillance," says the FXI in a statement.

"The FXI views the arbitrary banning of the advertisement through vague interpretation of the prescribed electoral regulations and the use of the draconian National Key Points Act as insouciant acts of blatant censorship".

"The FXI condemns the political interference that is clearly the root cause of the confusion at the SABC," says the institute.

"The Institute further condemns the use of the draconian National Key Points Act (NKPA) to  target and effectively silence journalists from blowing the whistle on maladministration within the public broadcaster".

"The reports of staff communication surveillance are alarming and much like the NKPA, do not belong in this era of South African democracy," says the FXI.

"The Institute calls for an immediate investigation by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications into the motivations and prudence of the decision to implement such regressive measures on the SABC".