“Young people becoming criminals due to media” - Motsoeneng

BY CHARL BOSCH - SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has reportedly distanced itself from comments made by its controversial Chief Operations Officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng, over the reporting of crime in South Africa.

According to News24, Motsoeneng, who was being interviewed on Afrikaans pay channel kykNet’s current affairs show, Insig, indicated that the amount of articles related to crime was acting as a motivational tool for young people to become criminals.

“The role of media is to influence the mindset of people, young and old. [For example] if you always report about crime… actually what you are doing [is] encouraging young people to commit crime,” he said.

“If you are always reporting about crime and people who appear on the newspaper or on media in general, you are also influencing the one young ones to commit crime because they will believe that for me to be seen I should commit crime”.

Asked by presenter and Rapport newspaper editor Waldimar Pelser if government would sometimes keep information from its citizens, Motsoeneng stated he had no evidence to back the claim up, but added that all reports must be based on facts and not hearsay.

In a statement afterwards, the public broadcaster said it would not be lured into making comments based on Motsoeneng’s personal assumptions.

“Mr. Motsoeneng as a citizen of the Republic has a right to express his views as enshrined in the constitution. It is therefore imperative that the DA does not make an insinuation that this statement is the official pronouncement of the SABC, and to therefore draw the SABC into this,” the statement read.