SADTU Media Statement on the blocking of RT Channel by Multichoice

2 March 2022

The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU) - the biggest union in the public service sector with close to 270 000 members is calling on MultiChoice to reinstate RT (Channel 407) with immediate effect or face boycott.

Blocking RT on MultiChoice's DStv is an insult to media freedom and freedom of expression in South Africa. Our country is not a Banana Republic where citizens toe the line. We refuse to be indoctrinated by CNN and BBC and all western leaning ideologies in a country where the right to freedom of expression which includes the freedom of the press and other media and freedom to receive or impart information of ideas is guaranteed. We have every right to access different views on the Russia-Ukraine war.

We therefore cannot allow MultiChoice whom we pay millions of rands, to play politics and take away this right.

We refuse to be subjected to this hypocrisy. This act is more than about trampling on our rights but is racist. The maiming and killing of women and children in Afghanistan by America and the West were shown live to portray the might of the United States and the West.

We will be writing to the Minister of Communications calling on her to instruct Multichoice to reinstate RT or face the challenge of its licence and monopoly.

As SADTU we denounce violence and wars, but we advocate for dialogue to resolve disputes. However, Multichoice's decision destroys democracy and does not promote a balanced debate on the war, and we reject that because we fought for our freedom and democracy.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat

CONTACT:

General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157