by Martin Plaut, ICWS Senior Research Fellow
On Friday 27th of May this year South Africa’s state owned broadcaster – the SABC – announced that it would will no longer broadcast footage of people destroying public property during protests.
The SABC’s Chief Operating Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, said that the destruction of public property was disrupting the lives of many, and that as a responsible public institution the SABC would not “assist these individuals to push their agenda that seeks media attention. As a public service broadcaster we have a mandate to educate the citizens, and we therefore have taken this bold decision to show that violent protests are not necessary,” he announced. The SABC argued that continuing to broadcast this material could “encourage other communities to do the same”.