SABC comes under fire for decision to retire from Sanef
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has come under fire for taking a different stance from fellow journalists in the coverage of Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang. The public broadcaster has been accused of systematic pro-government bias.
These allegations against the SABC surfaced after the broadcaster’s chief executive Dali Mpofu sent a resignation letter to the South African National Editors Forum, stating that the media had behaved “shamefully” in the reporting of the health minister’s medical records.
Mpofu wrote, “Shame on all of you, especially those who have turned their backs on your own cultural values for 30 pieces of silver, pretending to be converted to foreign, frigid and feelingless 'freedoms'”.
He added, “We cannot remain quiet while our mothers and our democratically chosen leaders are stripped naked for the sole purpose of selling newspapers”.
However, Anton Harber, a professor of journalism at Johannesburg's Witwatersrand University, stated that Mpofu had used "the language of government, not of journalists”, and questioned why the SABC was defending the health minister. “It is not appropriate,” he said.
Harber added that the letter seemed to showcase a close link with the government, and this was “weakening our democracy”.