In an extremely snooty and condescending statement, eNCA, one of the TV news channels on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform, says Rehad Desai's office "is welcome to drop off a copy at our studios" and that eNCA and e.tv will "gladly" broadcast his documentary for free.
On Sunday Rehad Desai's multi-award winning documentary about the Marikana massacre won yet another award – despite the fact that it has not been shown in South Africa by the public broadcaster, the SABC, nor e.tv or M-Net.
The hard-hitting Miners Shot Down telling the story of the Marikana miners who were gunned down by the South African Police in August 2012 and produced by Uhuru Productions has been shown earlier this year on Al Jazeera (DStv 406 / StarSat 257) and the community TV station, Cape Town TV (CTV).
Video-on-demand (VOD) services like Times Media Group's struggling VIDI and PCCW Global's ONTAPtv.com have also added the documentary to their streaming catalogues.
With a growing petition circulation, calls have been growing for the SABC and e.tv to show the documentary in South Africa. While the SABC has been silent, e.tv and eNCA is now responding saying they will show it, but not if they have to pay for it.
People and production companies who produce content for broadcast, especially on commercial TV channels, are paid for their work in South Africa, as is the case internationally.
eNCA earlier this year however went through painful layoffs and downsized the business, closing bureaux and shuttering its entire African news division.
“Previously Rehad Desai wanted us to pay him to broadcast it. At the time we felt his price was too high and we had a documentary, feature stories and reports of our own,” says e.tv in a statement.
“We have not been asked by Rehad Desai to broadcast the documentary since the initial release. We therefore extend an invitation to him to accept our offer of a free broadcast should he feel the film requires further exposure to a South African audience," says e.tv.
e.tv says "There are no aspects to the Marikana tragedy we have not covered as a news organisation. eNCA and the SABC also broadcast the Marikana Commission of Inquiry at our own costs."