A Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) ruling against radio station 702 is "deeply flawed and unconvincing" and will be appealed by Primedia, talk show host Eusebius McKaiser said on Wednesday evening.
The ruling handed down by BCCSA panel chairperson Professor Henning Viljoen found that McKaiser had created a "hostile environment" on the programme by broadcasting part of a 1993 speech by former president FW De Klerk "out of context".
McKaiser, on his show broadcast on May 7, discussed the "controversial issue of the role of ex-president FW de Klerk in the political discourse of the future of this country which is a matter of public important", the ruling said. [McKaiser] demonstrated "intolerance towards opposing views and made no reasonable efforts to fairly present opposing points of views", it said.
"No right of reply was granted to De Klerk or his spokesperson by inviting any of them to appear on a programme that was clearly intended to criticise De Klerk", it said.
Chairperson of the FW De Klerk Foundation and first complainant in the case, Dave Steward, said McKaiser had launched a "vitriolic attack on Mr De Klerk without inviting comment in his defence. He was accompanied by Sithembile Mbete, an academic from the University of Pretoria, who was also hostile to Mr De Klerk".
Stewart said he was "shouted down and ultimately cut off by Mr McKaiser" when he phoned it to "try provide other perspectives". The commission said this constituted a contravention of clause 13 of the Broadcasting Code.
'De Klerk is overrated in rainbow nation histories that misremember his complete past'
Primedia has indicated it "respectfully" disagrees with the ruling and will be filing notice for leave to appeal, The Citizen reported on Thursday.
"I agree with the decision to appeal it," McKaiser said in a Facebook post on Wednesday evening. "Frankly, I'd love to argue the appeal myself but the attorneys handling it do not need my assistance. They are brilliant," he wrote.
He said he respects the BCCSA as an institution but disagrees with this particular ruling.
"I would handle the issue of De Klerk EXACTLY THE SAME WAY IF we have the same debate and same arrogance from Dave Steward tomorrow," he wrote.
The job of the journalist is to expose the truth. Not to give equal billing. @Eusebius did that.— Chris Roper (@ChrisRoper) July 19, 2017
Who on 702 hates opposing views and awfully intolerant? The name is on the tip of your tongue...— Renegade Report (@Renegade_Report) July 17, 2017
@Eusebius Is Eusebius Mckaizer going to give FW de Klerk right of reply after the BCCSA found against him? So much for balanced journalism!— Hugh Eley (@MervynHughes) July 20, 2017
The BCCSA appears to have a very frightening bias.— xhanti (@XhantiPayi) July 19, 2017
McKaiser said he did not think debating the legacy of De Klerk and his place in history entitles him to be invited on to a media platform and that he is "overrated in rainbow nation histories that misremember his complete past".
"So... sorry for the trolls who imagine I must be feeling rather sad about the BCCSA ruling. I don't. They got it wrong".