SABC found at fault over pub name display

A pub has blamed the SABC for damaging its name
A pub has blamed the SABC for damaging its name

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) has ruled against the SABC after it showed the name of a pub in a news report in a way that created the impression it was implicated in a drug raid.

Fox Den Pub owner Amjad Khan complained about the report the public broadcaster ran on Sunday April 1 at 3pm on its 24-hour news channel.

“I take huge offence to the inaccurate reporting of events that transpired on Saturday March 31‚” Khan said .

The news report said eight pubs had been raided in the Johannesburg CBD and shut down for noncompliance and drugs found on the premises.
Khan said the negative publicity had led to reputation damage.

“My business‚ Fox Den Pub‚ was neither shut down nor issued with any fines. There were also no arrests made at my premises.”

The SABC said the name of the pub had been visible only in the background when it interviewed Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.

“The camera focus is on Minnaar though the name of pub is visible in the background.”

It said it had not implied the Fox Den Pub was implicated in the raids.

Khan hit back and said the response was “insufficient and inexcusable” as the onus was on the SABC to block out the name of the pub if it was not one of the guilty parties.

He added that the news report showed the entrance of Fox Den Pub when the voice-over used phrases including “eight clubs were raided”‚ “20-year-old arrested”‚ and “thousands of rands of fines were issued”.

BCCSA commissioner Nokubonga Fakude ruled the visuals and voice-over bore “unintended results which to the ordinary viewer would suggest that the pub was one of those pubs being discussed”.

Fakude criticised the SABC for submitting that the Fox Den Pub could put a positive spin on the news report.

“This shifts the burden to the complainant [Khan], who now has the duty to rectify an unsolicited display of the pub’s name on what appeared to be a negative broadcast on noncompliant pubs‚” Fakude said.

The BCCSA upheld the complaint. 

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