The Media Workers Association of South Africa has wholeheartedly condemned the actions by the SABC when it gagged reporters and Metro FM from hosting a talk show on the media and Mangaung. But the other union connected to the SABC, the Creative Workers Union of South Africa, CWUSA, has come out in support of the SABC’s actions.
The union said it “rejects bullying of SABC by self-anointed and newly found champions of media freedom” and “supports the decision by the public broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), to withdraw participation of certain political journalists from MetroFM’s Sakina Kwemendo Show, without the involvement and participation of the ANC itself”.
CWUSA said it was disturbed by the misguided, spurious and malicious “offensive” directed at the SABC.
“We strongly believe that there is a well-orchestrated and planned strategy by certain political commentators and editors who want to capture the SABC to further their narrow, self-centred and political factional agenda’s intended not only to destroy the political image of the ANC, but to poison the minds of society against the democratically-elected ANC government and its leadership,” CWUSA said in a statement, and congratulated the SABC for its “progressive decision”.
CWUSA said its support of the SABC’s decision was informed by its ideological convictions. It said that “newsrooms (not journalist workers) are not class neutral, but they are the property and mouthpiece of the dominant class, which owns and controls the economy. Therefore the newsrooms will always act in the interest of its owning class, by advancing its political interests and agendas”.
CWUSA also came out in support of the acting COO, Hludi Moetsoeneng, saying certain reporters and publications had personally attacked him.
“The questioning of the Acting GCOO academic qualifications seeks to implant a notion that to be in position of authority and responsibility you must be ‘certificated’. We strongly believe that the Acting GCOO given his track record and experience he is fit to hold the position he occupies. This understanding is consistent with our own unique South African and popular Nguni idiom “umuntu ufunda azafe”.