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The basis of this approach was openly articulated in the ANC’s stated objective of gaining controls of all in South African society and the means of achieving this was through cadre deployment – as the SABC boards in the Mbeki era and thereafter illustrate.
Here is how Gareth van Onselen, then Director of Communications with the Democratic Alliance but now a columnist for ‘ANC spokesperson Joel Netshitenzhe, writing in the ANC publication Umrabulo in 1997, defined transformation as ‘extending the power of the ‘National Liberation Movement’ over all levers of power: the army, the police, the bureaucracy, intelligence structures, the judiciary, parastatal, and agencies such as regulatory bodies, the public broadcaster, the central bank and so on.‘The ANC offered a progress report on its goal of controlling the SABC in its 1999 document ‘Accelerating Change: Assessing the Balance of Forces in 1999’ It states: ‘The transformation of the SABC did take much longer than we thought and more needs to be done at middle management level.
“The last straw for the DP was a lengthy insert in the 8pm bulletin on SABC3 on Sunday, September 19, 1999 reviewing the ANC's performance since June in the first 100 days of the new Government.” Zikalala responds by saying that the SABC “would never become the voice of government”.
Krisjan Lemmer, the satirical columnist at the Mail & Guardian alleges that Zikalala has set up a rival travel agency within SABC and is attacking the existing agency in the hopes of closing it down and diverting the SABC’s travel business to his own agency.
As a result of a promise by Zikalala that he would testify before the TRC to rebut these allegations, Max du Preez does not broadcast Mnqibisa’s testimony. Zikalala, clearly at the behest of factions within the ANC starts broadcasting blatantly false allegations which seek to implicate businessman Saki Macozoma in criminal dealings and without contacting Macozoma for his side of the story.
If the SABC is to play a constructive role ahead of our country’s first experience with democracy, informing the electorate rather than attempting to persuade them to vote for a particular political party, it is necessary to replace those who currently control the SABC with others who are committed to democracy and to an electorate empowered by accurate and impartial information.The Chairperson of the SABC Board of Control, Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, nominated herself for re-appointment to the board in 1996 when the term of office of the previous one came to an end.She subsequently phoned the office of the Minister for Broadcasting to make sure that they had in fact received her nomination.And we want to establish both the principle and practice of that independence now.The ANC is committed to public broadcasting which is independent of the government of the day, and which owes its loyalty not to any party, but to the population as a whole.