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mce_keep=”true”The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) has received a complaint from Qwelane against Talk Radio 702, but cannot consider it as it does not meet the BCCSA’s requirements for complaints.R
mce_keep=”true”By Friday morning (7 March) the registrar had not yet received the more detailed complaint the BCCSA had requested from Qwelane.
Qwelane, a former staff member of the station, this week claimed Talk Radio 702 had “manufactured news” through its reporting on the meeting of the Forum of Black Journalists (FBJ) with ANC president Jacob Zuma on 22 February in Sandton, Johannesburg.
The station’s Stephen Grootes, who is not a member of the FBJ and had not been invited to the meeting, was shown the door, apparently because he is white.
Katy Katopodis, editor of Talk Radio 702 and 94.7 Highveld Stereo, explained Grootes’s presence at the event as having been sent there to cover “the story of racial exclusion”. Katopodis spoke at a seminar of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) about exclusive organisations in Johannesburg on Wednesday (5 March).
Qwelane claimed at the seminar the station had violated a tenet of the constitution Ã¢Â€Â“ the public’s right to be informed. He has laid a complaint with the SAHRC against the station on these grounds.
He claimed 702 had also violated the Broadcasting Code, which amongst other things states news has to be accurate.
“What they are doing, is like if you run around carrying a bucket of stones, throwing them at shops, breaking several windows and then run to your studio and say: Hey, there’s been an increase in the stoning of buildings,” he said.
Qwelane claimed the station’s representatives, which he called “bully boys”, went to the meeting with Zuma to “violate” it.
The station’s Kieno Kammies and Yusuf Abramjee, Primedia Broadcasting’s group head of news and talk programming, in turn laid a complaint with the SAHRC after being called “coconuts” at the FBJ meeting when they objected to the exclusion of white journalists and walked out of the meeting. They regard the use of the word as having been “discriminatory, harmful, hurtful and derogatory”.
Qwelane said at the seminar he would not apologise for using the word.
Jody Kollapen, chairperson of the SAHRC, told TheMediaOnline he had been under the impression Qwelane’s communication with the commission was to provide information on what had transpired at the FBJ meeting, but as Qwelane regarded it as a formal complaint, the commission would consider the possibility of investigating it.
Abramjee said Qwelane had a democratic and legal right to make complaints. The station would fight its case before the relevant body.
Ã¢Â–Â This is an updated version of the story first published on TheMediaOnline on 6 March.