Dear friends across South Africa,
The SABC is under attack, but we can stop it being corrupted into a pro-government megaphone that drowns out dissent.
Propaganda policies introduced by SABC chief Hlaudi Motsoeneng silence reports on public protests, skew election coverage, and require 70% of SABC news to be ‘good news’ that the government likes.
With elections in weeks, this is cancer for our democracy.
This is our chance — join the call for Motsoeneng and his policies to go. He can try muzzling the media, but he can’t contain the internet! Sign up here
Seven journalists have been charged for criticising Motsoeneng, and dozens are protesting outside his office, generating huge international press. Embarrassed, the ANC has now called an urgent meeting with the Communications Minister and SABC board for Monday.
Let’s make sure the minister and the board members walk into it with thousands and thousands of our voices ringing in their ears: Motsoeneng must go, his policies scrapped, and the journalists reinstated. He can try to muzzle the media, but he can’t silence the internet! Sign now, then spread this everywhere to make it huge before Monday’s meeting:
A free press is fundamental to our movement. It exposes corruption and injustice, amplifies people power, and gives ordinary citizens a voice. Journalists take our protests and land them right under the noses of politicians and presidents. Mute the media and you cripple democracy. And the SABC is our most important media — with 9 out of 10 South Africans getting their news from there.
Motsoeneng supporters argue that violent protests are covered too often, and good news is missed in favour of the bad. But this isn’t about choosing between news; it’s about ensuring that our nation’s broadcaster, and all media, tell us the whole story — good and bad — not just the parts they like. Mass protests are a result of frustrated communities, often ignored by their leaders. Both media and government need to legitimately engage: not stifle their cries and muzzle the messenger.
So we have two options: sit back while the SABC is beaten down — or we go all-in. We know the government is worried about its reputation, but there’s no guarantee Monday’s meeting will put things right, so it’s up to us. Sign now to build a people-powered push that blazes the internet, echoes through international media, and sweeps Motsoeneng and his dangerous policies away:
Last year we rallied to save our internet from government censorship and now that fight has spread. Since then our movement in South Africa has grown massively — let’s charge forward again in the fight for our democracy.With fierce hope and determination,
Mike, Nic, Dalia, Spyro, Alex, Emma and the whole team at Avaaz