African National Congress (ANC) head of election campaign Fikile Mbalula has refuted claims that his party is bullying the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to provide more coverage in the run-up to the May elections.
City Press reported on Sunday that Mbalula met with the editors to discuss the ANC’s low election coverage.
Mbalula says he raised concerns about a rally in Limpopo attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa amongst some issues.
He says he did not bully the editorial team and that the meeting was routine interaction with the media.
This is a routine interaction with the media in the context of the election campaign, safeguarding our interests and understanding the posture or direction the public broadcaster will be taking in covering political parties in the election. It was an exploratory meeting which will be followed by a more formalised discussion , zooming in on important issues that affect the two parties.— Fikile Mbalula, Head of election campaign - ANC
We had agreed with manager of news at the SABC to meet and only when I arrived, they had added other people to the editorial room, that was not my call, it was theirs. We had a cordial discussion. They explained they are guided by Icasa and I raised issues about equity and equality... I raised other issues about our rally in Limpopo where it was blacked out and not covered, I mentioned that as an example. I said to them, I did not come here to complain nor to accuse you of anything, it is an exploratory discussion.— Fikile Mbalula, Head of election campaign - ANC
SABC spokesperson Neo Momodu confirms that the meeting took place and that the SABC is open to engaging with any political party at its request.
We confirmed that fact that the SABC team did meet with Mr Fikile Mbalula following his request for the meeting and this is something we will continue to do with all stakeholders, including political parties should they express the need to actually meet with the SABC.— Neo Momodu, Spokesperson - SABC
As part of the SABC corporate management team, we do not form part of editorial meetings - that is a very clear and distinct line between management issues and editorial issues I was not personally in that meeting and I would not want to comment on the content of that meeting.— Neo Momodu, Spokesperson - SABC
Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...
This article first appeared on 702 : Meeting with SABC was part of our routine interaction with media - Mbalula