Despite our victory against SABC censorship with ICASA ruling in our favour, SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has rejected the ruling and stated "No one is going to tell us what to do... we are not going to change anything... [we] will deal with internal dissidents"
We know the SABC makes much of its revenue from advertising, so let's call on some of the SABC's largest advertisers; Clientele, Chicken Licken, FNB, Vodacom, Black Label and others to pause their advertising with our SABC until this censorship is brought to and end.
More and more organisations and political parties including the ANC, agree with us and our allies at the SOS Coalition and Media Monitoring Africa, that what is happening at the SABC is wrong. But the situation at the SABC is deteriorating rapidly, with journalists facing suspension and more and more evidence surfacing of censorship. It's critical we act now.
Dear CEOs of Clientele, SAB Miller, First National Bank, Vodacom, Chicken Licken, Checkers, Outsurance, Telkom, Hollard Funeral, PEP Capfin, Telkom and Legal Wise.
We the undersigned call on you to please cease advertising with the SABC until the censorship and intimidation of journalists is brought to an end. As SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has rejected ICASA's ruling, we call on you to pause advertising until the crisis is over.
The SABC has a mandate to "report, contextualise and present news and current affairs honestly by striving to disclose all essential news and by not suppressing relevant facts or distorting it by wrong or improper emphasis”. This self censorship is regressive, and takes us back to the practice of the SABC during its apartheid years.
Since this decision by Motsoeneng, the SABC’s acting CEO, Jimi Matthews resigned, SABC has suspended journalists for going against the COO’s instructions and workers who wish to remain anonymous are coming forward with stories of threats and intimidation. It is with these disturbing events we appeal to you to play your part in ensuring that the public is brought news as they are, without any censorship and that the SABC respects the rights of its employees.
If you withdraw your advertising from the SABC we could create enough pressure on them to abandon this censorship, and ultimately compel them to give us fair commentary. In the past, businesses were able to bring the apartheid regime to concede from its oppressive ways. Today, I call upon you to play your part in ensuring that our democracy is protected. I call on you to be found on the right side of history.