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SAPS wins case against Democratic Alliance's 'Ayisafani' 2014 Election Advertisement

Media Statement from the National Media Centre
Corporate Communication
South African Police Service

25 April 2014

The SAPS is satisfied with today’s decision by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA) Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) that our complaint to this regulatory body is valid.

The SAPS lodged a complaint to the committee in relation to a distasteful Democratic Alliance’s (DA) political advertisement entitled “Ayisafani”, which was first broadcasted by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) 8 and 9 April 2014.

The “Ayisafani” advertisement depicts the DA’s 2014 election candidate for Gauteng’s Premiership, Mr Mmusi Maimane in which among other things he said: “We’ve seen a police force killing our own people”. The advertisement’s footage depicts a police officer allegedly shooting at two apparently unarmed people who are cowering away from the police.

In fact, the advertisement’s footage is inaccurate and misleading as the two people shown in the image were never killed or shot at and no live ammunition was used. The footage was carefully selected from one of Bekkersdal’s illegal and violent protests where the police had to restore public order to protect the life of law abiding citizens and their property.

We lodged a complaint in terms of Regulation 6 (9) on Party Election Broadcasts, Political Advertisements and the Equitable Treatment of Political Parties by Broadcasting Licensees and Related Matters, 2014 as we believe that the DA deliberately carried on with this fallacy to suit their egocentric agenda, an act that we feel strongly that is utterly irresponsible, desperate and borders on lack of morality and falsehood.

The regulation states that a party that submits a political advertisement to a broadcasting service licensee for broadcast must ensure that the advertisement does not contravene the provisions of the Electoral Code, the Electoral Act, the Constitution, the Electronic Communications Act 2005, (Act 36 of 2005) and the Broadcasting Act.

Furthermore, the regulation clearly states that the advertisement must not contain any material that is calculated, or that in the ordinary course is likely, to provoke or incite any unlawful, illegal or criminal act, or that may be perceived as condoning or lending support to any such act.

As SAPS we feel strongly that the advertisement breaches the Regulations, because there is a likelihood that it will incite or provoke violence against the police. The SAPS requested the ICASA’s CCC to make a finding that the advertisement breaches the Regulations and to recommend that ICASA as the broadcasting regulatory body, instructs the SABC to terminate broadcasting of the advertisement.

It has become clear that the Democratic Alliance sought to drive a wedge between the SAPS and community it serves. We are witnessing our police officers homes being burnt to the ground, police officers are being attacked and murdered and this type of statements will serve only to fuel such attacks on our officers. SAPS will continue to serve the community with utmost objectivity, due diligence and respect for human rights to ensure that people of South Africa are and feel safe. This victory over the DA is indicative of much we value our relationship with our communities.

We call upon South Africans to condemn any and all acts of violence and/or speeches that incite violence. We will also continue to respect the democratic rights of people to demonstrate but we ask that such rights be exercised in a peaceful manner and within the confines of the law. Carrying of weapons and acts of violence during these demonstrations will not be tolerated.

-End-

Media Enquiries:

Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale
Mobile: 082 781 8863

 

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