CENSORSHIP CONTINUES AT SABC

The question is, should the public broadcaster do what private radio stations like Radio 702 does? Radio 702 did exactly that to me several times. One time I wanted to challenge Hope Papo of the ANC who during a talk show said that journalists at journalism schools were not being taught to portray Africa in a positive light. Whose role is it to develop a curriculum that teaches African reality? Is it not Papo’s ruling ANC? In fact, as Sali pointed out, teaching positively about Africa should start at kindergarten, then primary and to high school and not at journalism schools.

CENSORSHIP CONTINUES AT SABC
SABC

Today, 13th October 2009, I called Siki Mgabadeli’s SABC radio show when she hosted Shaka Sali of Voice of America News between 9.00hrs to 10.00hrs. Sali was talking about negative coverage of the African continent. I called the show after the 9.30hrs news headlines and went through. The gentleman who answered the phone asked me my name, telephone number and where I was calling from. He apparently took down my details and said he was going to call me back but he never did. After about 15 minutes I called again and my call rang and rang and went unanswered. I repeated the futile exercise about four times until the show ended. If this isn’t censorship then I don’t know what it is.

The question is, should the public broadcaster do what private radio stations like Radio 702 does? Radio 702 did exactly that to me several times. One time I wanted to challenge Hope Papo of the ANC, who during a talk show said that journalists at journalism schools were not being taught to portray Africa in a positive light. Whose role is it to develop a curriculum that teaches African reality? Is it not Papo’s ruling ANC? In fact, as Sali pointed out, teaching positively about Africa should start at kindergarten, then primary and to high school and not at journalism schools.

Tertiary institutions should buttress what has already been taught at formative years. The minds of young people are shaped at the formative stages as the Setswana idiom points out, “Lore le ojwa le sa le metsi”. The likes of Papo find it easy to point fingers at others while his ANC is failing to at least acknowledge the role the PAC and BCM played in our struggle for liberation.

During Mgabadeli’s show on South African people’s identity, Papo agreed with the white person who was a guest on Mgabadeli’s show that we didn’t have a national identity and that we had multiple identities. If a person thinks we don’t have an identity as a nation, then s/he won’t do anything for African culture and history and should therefore not be gleeful about Africa’s glorious past because s/he doesn’t understand that when we speak about culture, we talk about language, history and self-consciousness.

If charterist imposters suppress the glorious history of the PAC and BCM, like the colonizers suppressed the glorious history of the African people, why should they celebrate the glorious history of Africa? The history of the PAC and BCM is part and parcel of the history of the African continent.

By Sam Ditshego

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2 thoughts on “CENSORSHIP CONTINUES AT SABC

  1. Dear Sir,

    I generally do not respond to things written about me, when such response has not been sought. However, this is the second time that you have made inaccurate statements and basically defamed what my programme has done! Firstly, you were CERTAINLY NOT censored – please get your facts straight BEFORE writing your articles, lest you be accused of inaccuracy! The discussion we had with Shaka Ssali was very popular, we received an unprecedented number of calls. As you state yourself, you called during the news headlines – and what typically happens at that time is that my producers will pick up the phone and tell callers they will call them back after taking down their numbers. Let me be clear – you were NOT the ONLY individual – there were many others. What might have happened was that you were possibly not the first call at that time, but on a list of many – and we quite simply couldn’t get to you, given that we had calls to take, ad breaks (which pay the bills) to play, sms’s to read, emails to read and Facebook messages to read!. Now, talkshows are run on a clock – I cannot dedicate my ENTIRE programme to one subject – it’s not good production and it’s certainly NOT good for readers! I reject, with contempt, your suggestions of censorship – can you imagine if EVERY SINGLE CALL we didn’t pick up on a talkshow (and here I speak for all talk radio stations) accused us of censorship! Please be realistic – or get a talkshow and show us how it’s done!

    Your second contention is that I did an interview on SA’s national identity with a white person — do me a favour and get your facts straight before dishing out your bile! I spoke to a black analyst — maybe his name confused you!

    Please, I am very happy with criticism – but it has to be based on facts and research – just as you expect me to do some research before I conduct an interview!

    Regards,
    Siki Mgabadeli

    1. Siki Mgabadeli says I should get my facts straight lest I be accused of inaccuracy and before dishing out my bile. Writing that a listener who complains about the manner in which the public broadcaster marginalises callers whose views it doesn’t like they are dishes out bile is argumentum ad hominem, it doesn’t advance the debate one bit and is infatile. Is she writing this “dishing out my bile” on behalf of the SABC? She also says her show received an unprecedented number of calls. Tim Modise’s show which precedes her show also receives a lot of calls but I have the impression he handles them meticulously. If Siki’s producer is not sure how many calls he will return then he shouldn’t promise a lot of callers that he will call them back. As a producer he must know that he should not bite more than he can chew. He does the show everyday and probably has experience as a producer or is Siki’s producer still a novice, a palooka? Is Siki Mgabadeli not aware that the SABC censored some analysts and an independent commission found fault with the SABC?Where was she at that time? There is a precedent. On the national identity debate her guest sounded like a white person and please let her prove that that guy isn’t white. at any rate, it is irrelevant whether her guest was a white or a black person but what he said about our national identity is and I disagreed with him based on facts and Siki cut me off before I could complete what I wanted to say just like she cut me off recently when he had the Secretary General of the PAC as a guest on her show. So which facts is she talking about when she cut me off when I was proffering her the facts? The guest she had during the national identity debate may have been black (I have my doubts though) but he is white inside. Siki’s submission is a non-sequitur. Frankly Siki Mgabadeli’s riposte is just gobbledygook. Sam Ditshego.

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