JOHANNESBURG- South Africa’s public broadcaster faced fresh criticism over perceived political bias after reports it banned some critics of President Thabo Mbeki from its airwaves.
The Sowetan newspaper said this week that the public SABC broadcaster had compiled a list of j
ournalists and commentators who are among Mbeki and his ruling African National Congress’s most prominent detractors.
The SABC said it merely wants to improve its standards by cutting down on “ill-informed” on-air pundits and denied the move was to stifle a row over Mbeki’s axing last June of his popular deputy Jacob Zuma over a corruption scandal.
“After a number of problems experienced with experts and analysts, and some public feedback received by the SABC, a proposal was taken … to devise policy guidelines on the use of commentators,” it said in a statement.
The decision on commentators came a week after SABC dropped a documentary on Mbeki, saying it was potentially libellous, but critics said the move was politically motivated.