The African National Congress (ANC) says it is taken aback by the article on the Times newspaper, by Mr. Justice Malala, dated 19July 2010, titled: SABC is not a political tool.
In this article, the ANC claims “Malala makes insinuations and allegations that the ANC has instructed the SABC to ‘ban’, the former ANC president, comrade and ANC leader, Cde Thabo Mbeki. The ANC would like to put it on record that none of its leaders and none of its
members “instructed” anyone in the SABC not to interview Cde Thabo Mbeki.”
We think an apology to the ANC from Mr Malala will be in order.
“Upon hearing of such rumours, the ANC enquired from the SABC about the “ban” of former president, Thabo Mbeki. The SABC categorically denied that anyone in their employ was given such an instruction by the ANC and also denied that such a discussion to “ban” Mbeki ever took place within the public broadcaster, and they have repeated this line many times through their spokesperson, Mr Kaizer Kganyago.”
“The ANC will never attempt to influence the editorial decisions of the public broadcaster and never have such an intention. We hold a view that every citizen, rich or poor, black or white, male or female, should have a right to access the public broadcaster, including Cde Thabo Mbeki. The ANC will never scoop low to undermine the very democratic values that many of our members and our leaders died fighting for, including the independence of the media and the public broadcaster.”
“In this context, we will not hesitate to join any match organised by Justice Malala or any other citizen of this country, to ensure the independence of the media and the none-biasness of the public broadcaster. We will stop at nothing to protect such a right and freedom as enshrined in our constitution.”
“If Malala had the decency to approach the ANC on this matter, he would find that we totally agree with him with regard to the freedom of the press and none political meddling with the public broadcaster. Mr Malala would have found a keen ally in the ANC on this particular matter, instead of demonising and vilifying the ANC,” said Jackson Mthembu the ANC National Spokesperson.