SABC probes ANC influence

Panel formed to investigate claims

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — The board of the South African Broadcasting Corp. (SABC) is probing growing claims that the editorial independence of the pubcaster is being eroded by senior officials who are known to support South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC).

The claims follow the sackings and resignations in recent months of a number of senior TV journalists regarded by some to not be in step with SABC’s higher-ups.

Board chairman Paulus Zulu said at a press conference in Johannesburg that five board members had been appointed to a subcommittee to investigate the claims.

The panel, he said, would begin its inquiry Monday and complete it by the time the full board meets May 19, when the issue will be discussed in-depth.

The latest resignation came late last week when the editor in chief of SABC radio news, Barney Mthomboti, announced he was quitting. He said, however, that no one had told him what to broadcast.