The civil rights organisation AfriForum today declared a dispute with MultiChoice because of the inconsistent application of this television company’s political policy. This follows after MultiChoice’s announcement that their policy was not to give exposure to persons making divisive statements, but this policy has been applied only with regard to one individual.
MultiChoice recently announced that they were going to apply censorship with regard to the artist Steve Hofmeyr by not publishing any footage of him, but no action has been taken against other artists who actively encourage violence and racial hatred against minorities on social media. AfriForum also demands that MultiChoice should summarily stop all sponsorships for organisations and parties – including the ANC – whose representatives make divisive statements.
The artist Ntsiki Mazwai regularly publishes racist and inciting comments against minorities on social media, yet he was recently appointed as presenter of the chat programme Show me Love, which is broadcast on Moja Love (channel 157 on DStv).
- On 6 November 2017 Mazwai tweeted: “With all the whites assaulting blacks..does it make it fairground to go on a white beating spree? Beat them bonke man, woman or child?” (sic).
- On 18 February 2018 Mazwai tweeted: “There is no such thing as White Excellence…only thing whites are excellent at is stealing and copying” (sic)
- On 1 February 2019, referring to the tragic incident in which children of Hoërskool Driehoek died when a bridge collapsed, Mazwai tweeted: “guys it’s an afriforum school….” (sic).
- On 20 March 2019 Mazwai tweeted: “When you learn the history of Afrika…….and it’s indigenous people. The people who actually BELONG here . You know In other African countries whites were escorted to the their ships. One day that’s gonna happen here too” (sic)
- Later on the same day, op 20 March 2019 Mazwai tweeted: “Don’t ever forget: WHITES LIE!!!!” (sic)
Ernst Roets, deputy chief executive of AfriForum, said MultiChoice was fully entitled to follow a political policy, but customers also had the right in such a case to insist on the policy being applied consistently.
“If Hofmeyr is banned from all platforms because his statements are divisive, but people like Mazwai are rewarded by being appointed as presenters, this indicates that MultiChoice does not really pursue unity but simply exercises double standards.”
Roets also said the consistent application of MultiChoice’s policy would mean that the company would not be involved in any further sponsorships of political parties making divisive statements. This includes the ANC. In this regard Roets referred to deputy president David Mabuza’s threat that there would be a violent take-over if white people do not voluntarily give their property to black people, and also the allegation by the ANC secretary-general, Ace Magashule, that white people were the descendants of colonists who stole “our” (black people’s) wealth.
AfriForum therefore has declared a dispute with MultiChoice and demands in terms of the dispute that the company’s political policy be either revised or applied consistently.
Joe Heshu, MultiChoice chief executive for corporate matters, said in a statement that MultiChoice was committed to building a non-racial society and strongly condemned any acts of discrimination.
“It appears from their own actions that this certainly is not the case and that MultiChoice simply wants to apply censorship with inconsistent action,” Roets said.
MultiChoice is a regular sponsor for the ANC’s Progressive Business Forum’s events, and in February this year they also sponsored the EFF’s gala dinner.
AfriForum encourages members of the public to add their voices to the dispute with MultiChoice by visiting the website www.multichoicedispute.co.za.
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