South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party has criticised the European Union for imposing sanctions on Russia describing the decision as “draconian.” Sanctions were imposed after Russia had invaded Ukraine over alleged genocide.
In a statement, seen by Pindula News, ANC also rebuked Multichoice South for “unilaterally withdrawing Russian TV from its offerings” saying the move has adverse impacts on the freedom of choice to subscribers and limiting their consumption of news on the developments in the Ukraine — Russia conflict. Reads the statement:
ANC STATEMENT ON MULTICHOICE REMOVING RUSSIAN TV FROM ITS PLATFORM
The African National Congress (ANC) notes the draconian decision by the European Union (EU) to impose sanctions on Russia and its entireties including global media organizations following the escalation of hostilities between Ukraine and Russia.
Subsequently, this has resulted in the South African Multichoice platform unilaterally withdrawing Russian TV from its offerings, impacting negatively on the freedom of choice to subscribers and limiting their consumption of news on the developments in the Ukraine — Russia conflict.
The ANC believes that this censorship act done in bad faith during Human Rights Month in South Africa undermines subscribers freedom of association and negatively impacts on the need for plurality of views and media freedom which is sacrosanct and provided for in our constitution.
The reasons conveyed by MultiChoice in seeking to justify this censorship act are quite bizarre and lack any legal and humane justification. Stifling the plurality and diversity of views undermines internationally agreed principles on freedom of speech, choice and association.
The ANC condemns in the strongest terms possible any form of bias by media conglomerates in South Africa which limits the plurality and diversity of views. Even at this late hour, the EU must still provide legal justification for this course of action. Our own competition commission should also act to safeguard the interest of subscribers of Multichoice by quantifying the loss and demanding of such to be reimbursed. The ANC also calls on Multichoice to reconsider its decision of censorship and immediately reinstate Russian TV on its platform.