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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU deplores SABC interview

05-11-07

The Congress of South African Trade Unions on 3 December 2007 issued a statement which condemned the undemocratic practices which have been used in the run-up to the ANC conference, "in particular the use of state institutions and the SABC in factional bat tles".

Two days later, the SABC announces that on 5 December it is to broadcast a two-hour live interview with President Thabo Mbeki, linked to about 15 of the SABC's radio stations. This is a shocking example of exactly the kind of abuse of the public broadcaste r that COSATU has been warning about.

Such blatant use of the SABC to advance the cause of one candidate in a contest for the leadership of the ANC, less than two weeks before the ANC's national Conference, is utterly deplorable. It is involving the public broadcaster on one side of a factiona l contest for the leadership.

This crude attempt to mould public opinion and manipulate the views of the ANC delegates will surely backfire. It will reinforce the view that the state apparatus is becoming too powerful and that the voice of those opposed to the current leadership is bei ng stifled. It will make delegates all the more determined to elect fresh faces to the leadership and adopt a far more democratic, transparent and open style of leadership in both the state and the ANC.

We call upon the membership of the ANC and its allies to reject this tactic and to exercise their democratic right freely to choose the leadership they want and not be bulldozed into accepting the status quo.

We demand that the broadcast be stopped, or that exactly the same amount of time be devoted, on the same number of radio stations, to and interview with the other nominated candidate for the presidency of the ANC, Jacob Zuma.

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