eNCA fined R10k because of Gareth Cliff ‘So What Now?’ episode

eNCA Fined R10k Because Of Gareth Cliff ‘So What Now?’ Episode

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) has fined eNCA and eTV for airing an episode of Gareth Cliff’s show, “So What Now?”.

In the episode that aired on July 22 during the height of the Covid-19 global pandemic, Cliff interviewed conspiracy theorist David Icke.

During the interview, Icke said Covid-19 did not exist, and that the concerns regarding the pandemic are a scam. He said the Covid-19 pandemic is a hoax and added that “there was no virus”.

After the episode was aired by eNCA, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) submitted a complaint to BCCSA. MMA said the contents of the episode were unlawful,  harmful, and in breach of the provisions of both the Subscription Broadcast Code of Conduct and the Free to Air Code of Conduct.

A BCCSA tribunal consisting of Professor HP Viljoen (chairperson), Nokubonga Fakude (commissioner) and Edwin Naidu (commissioner) ruled in favour of MMA.

The tribunal said the comments made by Icke during the interview could cause harm to the South African viewers.

The BCCSA said that it does not have the power to order eNCA or eTV to remove the episode from its website or online accounts.

eNCA and eTV are expected to pay the  R10 000 fine by November 15 to the Registrar of the BCCSA.

Apart from the fine, the broadcasters are also expected to air an apology at the start of the programme “So what now?” in the first episode after the ruling.

The BCCSA has sent eNCA the apology it is expected to broadcast during Gareth Cliff’s “So What Now?”.

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