Well laa dee daa and a buttered scone! I know that the majority of people in South Africa may not know about Freud, Nietzsche, Darwin or Aristotle. They may not give a flying fart about which fork or spoon to use first at an elaborate dinner or what gift is expected in celebration of a 23rd wedding anniversary- it’s a silver plate btw. But really all this sophistication has contributed to what, in getting from A to B, everyday?
So I take quite a bit of offence to this, especially upon reading that the SABC has put on a hold a documentary by former SABC reporter Sylvia Vollenhoven claiming that the documentary was “too sophisticated for an SABC2 audience”.
Reading the channel statement for SABC2 there is an obvious emphasis on family and familial values, so at first glance this documentary isn’t remotely suitable for the channel. There is also talk about the channel playing “a key role in Nation Building” which I guess means anything pro-ANC in SABC talk. However, how can the SABC “help South Africans understand…their role as citizens of South Africa” if they will not allow their citizens to gain the knowledge they need to be active. Or are they okay with us remaining ‘unsophisticated’? Ironically, the SABC claims that “the channel is most synonymous with South Africa in all its COMPLEXITY, contributing to a sense of pride… [to] help shape us as a people forging a new South Africa”.
South Africans are not the most snobbish of countries and compared to the ‘exemplary and can-do-no-wrong West’ we are as close to savage and barbaric as you can get, hardly set to make our debut in the world of sophisticated political sovereignties. We are viewed apparently even by our own government as possessing cultural sophistication- which we parade around enough to the ANC’s tune every time we need foreign investment or interest (i.e.: SKA, 2010 World Cup and Afcon).
However we hardly harp on about the intellectual sophistication of the South African people. Aren’t these the same ones who managed to come out of 94 peacefully, who found unity and common ground with their own oppressors? Who have dealt with complicated issues all their lives, issues of identity and class differences when suddenly ‘race lost its influencing factor’?
Project Spear was supposed to be a controversial take on the story of an ex-MI6 spy who presented the SA government with a strategy to recover billions of rands that had been misused by bankers, officials and politicians during apartheid. The documentary would explore how the ANC government allegedly stuck to the plan of in-action, something that seems to be a habit for them. The script was approved in April 2012, however somewhere between then and September, the SABC changed their minds.
What motive would the SABC have in doing this? What made them change their minds like an indecisive child? According to an email received by Vollenhoven, the SABC wrote that “the government is not going to take kindly to being asked, why are we walking away from recovering so much money?” Okay, that’s nice for them, but since you brought it up, WHY DID THEY? Isn’t that something worth investigating?
The SABC hasn’t been doing too well for themselves, with all their financial and political issues and they seem to be canning and censoring journalists left, right and centre. That was merely a political issue understandably occurring because of political pressure but still unforgiveable and now they have decided to insult the masses, claiming we are unsophisticated?
Whether or not a society is sophisticated is irrelevant. Do not blame us for the lack of communication and talking about issues. Instead of being direct with the truth, owning up to past mistakes, this complicating of issues with vague political statements is what is occurring. There is nothing complicated in admitting that you stuffed up. This issue is not hard to understand. Where is the money? Why did you initially decide not to go after it? Is it feasible to still get it up? Hardly complex questions.
Do better with your excuses.
To view the original article:
To read more about the SABC channel statement: