Johannesburg, 26 January 2011 – The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has noted the judgment by Judge Neels Claassen of the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg against the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in a matter between them and the Freedom of Expression Institute, concerning the SABC.
In 2006, FXI lodged a complaint with ICASA against the SABC in respect to the alleged banning of certain political analysts. ICASA presided over the matter and came to a decision that it did not have jurisdiction over the editorial independence of the SABC.
FXI appealed the ruling, and it was confirmed on appeal. FXI then referred the matter for review to the South Gauteng High Court, against the ruling of ICASA’s appeal tribunal.
The Judge in delivering his judgment made passing references to the SABC, which has led to misrepresentation by some media outlets that the ruling was against the SABC and this has to be corrected. FXI did not take the SABC to court, but rather it was a matter between FXI and ICASA and therefore the judgment is not against the SABC but was against the Regulator.
Since the FXI took this matter to the Regulator a new Board has been appointed, as well as a new Head of News. The SABC is committed to respecting the legislation and editorial code that governs the public broadcaster and in this regard has committed to creating an editorial policy unit to providing internal oversight and a public review of its editorial policies.
Issued By: Group Communications
Media Enquiries: Kaizer Kganyago
082 306 8888