By BO Staff Writer
Over the weekend, the white owned and controlled media excitedly reported that former president Thabo Mbeki had “broken his silence” and spoken against the alleged abuses happening at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Mbeki called for a judicial commission of inquiry on the state broadcaster. He has been joined by “various leaders of eminent foundations” including the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy, Helen Suzman and the FW de Klerk foundations.
What’s curious about is that Mbeki’s call is synchronised with a similar call by the the former apartheid president and mass murderer FW de Klerk. This suggests an unethical collusion between Mbeki and De Klerk to reverse the gains made by the SABC under the leadership of Hlaudi Motsoeneng. The target of the campaigns against Motsoeneng relate to the radical policy changes happening at the SABC, primarily the 90% local content for radio and the planned 80% local content for television.
It is not the first time Thabo Mbeki collaborates with forces opposed to transformation. During his tenure as president he bizarrely decided to side with American corporations which had assisted the apartheid regime to torture and murder black people and specifically anti-apartheid activists. Mbeki’s cabinet instructed its then minister of justice, Penuell Maduna to send affidavits to the USA courts to oppose the application for justice by victims of torture.
The collaboration by Mbeki and De Klerk against the SABC must be understood within the general framework of regime change that finds expression inside the ANC as the London supporting faction led by finance minister Pravin Gordhan wrestles for hegemony with the pro-BRICS faction led by president Jacob Zuma. Motsoeneng is seen as a Zuma man and so they want to remove him and replace him with a pro-West neo-liberal figure.
The fight for the soul of the SABC is far from over. In the next few months treasury shall try add its weight to uproot Motsoeneng.