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The South African Broadcasting Corporation in court over censorship saga

South Africa

Following a series of protests by South African journalists and media freedom watchdogs at the national broadcaster SABC COO’S decision to censor violent news for viewers, the country’s High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday granted an order interdicting the SABC from implementing or enforcing its decision.

The high court heard an application filed by the think-tank Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) to stop the SABC from implementing its decision to censor the reporting of protests.

The two organizations on Wednesday reached a settlement. The SABC conceded to most of the points in the HSF’s application for the interdict, except one point in the notice of motion.

Crucially, the discussions and subsequent order included a paragraph on the editorial independence of the SABC.

This also happens at the time of the firing of the national broadcaster’s eight journalists for disagreeing with the decision to censor coverage of protests, before the disciplinary cases against some of them had been concluded.

Trade unions Solidarity and Bemawu intend taking their cases to court.


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