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South African b’caster alleges racism

SABC contends that the media, infrastructure resist change

JOHANNESBURG — In a submission to a hearing on racism in the media, the South African Broadcasting Corp. (SABC) on Monday accused its white middle management of resisting post-apartheid transformation. “In many instances there is active resistance to transformation,” the pubcaster said in the submission to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) hearing, which resumed after a three-week break.

The SABC complained that the country’s white media had been critical of its transformation, which had seen top management change from mostly white to predominantly black.

Middle and junior management were still predominantly white, the corporation added.

“At present the SABC has a workforce which is approximately 50% black,” it said.

Continuing racism

Editor-in-chief Phil Molefe added that the lack of proper racial representation in newsrooms continues, albeit more subtly, the apartheid practice of projecting blacks as inferior.

Molefe suggested the SAHRC establish a mechanism to monitor racism in the media. The SABC runs 19 radio stations and five television channels, two of them pay channels beamed across Africa.

The SAHRC hearing was called after studies last year found the country’s media riddled with anti-black sentiment, despite the ousting of white minority rule in 1994.

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