sabc SANDF rams mabote

Photo: SABC

What’s going on? SANDF soldiers sent in to SABC offices

A significant presence of SANDF soldiers has been reported at the offices of SABC this weekend – and several conspiracies have been dismissed.

sabc SANDF rams mabote

Photo: SABC

A peculiar deployment of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has raised eyebrows across South Africa. Soldiers have been sent into SABC offices in both Johannesburg and Durban over the weekend.

Why has SANDF been sent to SABC?

When news of the developments surfaced online, some citizens were concerned by the military presence inside the state broadcaster. However, Group Executive of Corporate Affairs and Marketing, Gugu Ntuli, has ‘dismissed with contempt’ any allegations that the army is trying to influence the newsroom.

“This deployment is in light of the recent unrest. As a National Key Point Area, delivering an essential service to the nation, and considering the recent attacks on the SABC journalists, it was deemed necessary that the physical premises and the employees working in these offices be protected.”

Army ‘will not interfere’ with programming affairs

According to Ntuli, the move is purely for the safety and protection of journalists, in the wake of the July riots. SANDF has vowed not to get involved in anything related to news broadcasts, deeming such a move as ‘unacceptable’

“The SABC dismisses, with the necessary contempt, the misleading and malicious allegations that there is an ulterior motive for the presence of the members of SANDF in its premises. At no point in time has and will the SANDF impact or get involved with operational matters of the SABC or its newsrooms.”

“While the SABC has no evidence that any SANDF personnel were in the newsroom, the public broadcaster would like to make it clear that any presence by SANDF in the newsroom would be unacceptable and not in line with the SABC’s public mandate and editorial policies.” | Gugu Ntuli