After appearing before the Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) yesterday, 12 November 2012, the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) issued a joint press statement concerning their finalised settlement negotiations.
In the settlement agreement the parties have agreed to the following terms:
The SABC acknowledges that the conduct of its employees and former employees named in the FXI complaint, including its former head of News and Current Affairs division was not in line with:
the SABC's editorial policies and Code of Conduct for Broadcasters;
The provisions of schedule C of its licence conditions in respect of News and Current affairs;
The SABC charter as contained in section 6 of the Broadcasting Act 4 of 1999 ("the charter").
As a result the FXI has withdrawn the complaint against the SABC and this settles fully and finally the FXI's complaint against the SABC. Consequently the SABC has adopted "Guidelines on the use of commentators, experts and analysts by SABC News". In these guidelines the SABC commits to:
Monitoring and enforcing compliance with the guidelines, and reviewing them from time to time to ensure that they remain appropriate to the broadcasting environment in which it operates.
Monitoring and enforcing compliance with its editorial policies and Code of Conduct for broadcasters, its licence conditions and the charter.
Both parties are pleased that the matter has finally been resolved. They remain committed to having a public broadcaster which will actively ensure the availability of social and political views on its airways.