Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Memorandum of Demands Delivered by the South African Communist Party (SACP) Gauteng Province to the ETV
8 July 2016

We members of the SACP Gauteng province hereby submit the following list of demands to the Board and Management of ETV:

Background and Context

The submission of this Memorandum of Demands is consistent with and seeks to drive the realization of the strategic policies and programme of action of the SACP for Media Transformation and The Battle of Ideas as stated in the South African Road to Socialism (SARS).

The memorandum further seeks to deepen, advance, and defend the National Democratic Revolution (NDR), which is our direct route to Socialism, that is, to build a non-racial, non-sexist, united and democratic country that is free of class exploitation, national oppression and gender discrimination.

We are pleased and inspired to submit this memorandum of demands in the month celebrating the birth of the world icon and stalwart of our entire ANC led revolutionary movement, Tata Nelson Mandela.

We are further pleased that the submission of our memorandum of demands takes place at the time when our country is preparing to hold yet another round of democratic local government elections that are peaceful, free and fair, thus consolidating our democracy.

We are pleased that the outcomes and processes of our democratic elections since April 1994 were never a subject of dispute in any form, thus reaffirming the maturity and credibility of our electoral system, and the integrity of institutions entrusted with and acting as custodians of our electoral system and processes.

We are deeply pleased to submit this memorandum in line with our character as the only vanguard party of the working class in general and workers in particular, consistent with, and humbled by our internationalist principle of human solidarity, comradeship and the absolute love and respect for humanity.

We are submitting this memorandum of demands following a series of deeply worrying and disturbing set of political developments, trends and observations we have made, that have a great potential to undermine the thrust, principles and set of values that collectively constitute the core and real essence of our democracy, it`s constitution and all the applicable democratic laws.

In this regard, we wish to submit the following demands:

1. Publication of the current IPSOS Polls

Whilst the SACP has no problem or objection as a matter of principle, theory and practice with the elections polls you publish, we have serious problems with the political agenda and the real intentions behind such polls.

Put differently and as matter of emphasis, this protest/picket is not against the polls you published, but against the political agenda such polls represent and seek to achieve.

As you will certainly recall, following our meeting held with you on Wednesday, 6th July 2016, right here at your offices, we tabled and presented you with at least ten (10) set of questions seeking information, clarity and further details on the polls.

In our observation, we noted that you dismally failed to reply to the set questions relating to critical areas of potential error, lack of accuracy and precision thus misleading and grossly misrepresenting the real situation you might have sought to represent in your polls outcomes.

In this regard, we noted serious errors mainly relating to sampling, coverage, measurement and non responsiveness in your polls. These errors, which constitute real difficulties of any serious polls or surveys, will without doubt affect your controversially low margin of error.

As you will surely agree, this is even more so considering that your real participants rates in each of the three cities you polled, was between a mere 500 -600 participants only.

To our surprise and dismay, this shockingly low figure was never disclosed nor reported to the public until our meeting with you this week.

As you will surely agree, (and as this matter is on record), you dismissed with contempt, the issue of the absolute and inherent requirement of the sample to be representative of the population, facts and reality you wish to portray to the public.

As you will recall, we were more concerned about the potential high margin of error in the polls published for the City of Tshwane, where the polls results followed a highly violent, elusive and volatile situation.

Strangely, this fact about the wave of violence, you mention in your results as accounting for the four (4) percent drop in ANC electoral support, but failed to demonstrate how such a fact was integrated in your poll processes.

We also tabled our concern that the manner in which you hype, boost and boast the results, thus going to the extreme and strangely blowing them out of proportion, (based shockingly on a small number of participants) puts in doubt your real intentions and bona fides.

We also raised a concern that your presentation and reporting of the results to the public, carries the danger of usurping the real functions and role of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

In this regard, we note the posture, manner and style you adopt when reporting, which creates the dangerous impression that these are final election results, and not just polls estimating voter mood and sentiment on the ground.

We are also concerned that your pompous and populist manner of presentation, reporting and announcing the results has a great risk, danger and threat of undermining the many years of good and hard work done by the IEC in our country.

As you will surely understand, your grossly unrepresentative and erroneous polls, poses a real danger to the IEC, considering already that there are well pronounced threats to reject the outcomes of the elections and engineer war and violence, especially if the African National Congress wins the elections.

We are deeply concerned, that your grossly misleading and poorly representative surveys are fast becoming a breeding ground for the rejection of the election results to be based on allegations of rigging the results, especially and only if the ANC wins the elections.

We therefore demand that you withdraw your polls, especially for the City of Tshwane, and refrain with immediate effect from assuming and usurping functions of the IEC, thus ploughing seeds of war, violence and anarchy.

As you will certainly understand, this has the great potential to destroy our hard won democracy as you directly play into the already "vibrating" hands of our newly found and "self anointed" paragons of war, racism and anarchy.

We also demand that you fully reply in writing to our ten (10) questions presented to you in our last meeting.

We therefore give you 48 hours, starting on Monday, 11th July 2016, to show cause why we must NOT report you to the Electoral Court for deliberately, consciously and with malice creating conditions to undermine the good work, integrity and credibility of the IEC and placing our country on the brink of civil war.

We therefore believe that failure to withdraw the set results, already discredited by an extremely controversially low margin of error, will without doubt damage your highly compromised claim that you are the only "independent" elections TV channel.

The fact that you have rented and hired IPSOS to act as your news manufacturing and cooking agent, flies in the face of your core business and role as a broadcaster. Your core and real business is to report news objectively and not to manufacture your own news and report on them.

We believe that by playing double standards, of news manufacturing and broadcasting at the same time, you are therefore equally guilty of news manipulation and censorship to suit the agenda for which you manufactured such news.

We however do not seek to suggest that you cannot report on polls, we are merely questioning your double standards and therefore your objectivity to report on your own news.

Such failure we believe, will also serve to vindicate, affirm and confirm our view, currently held in abeyance, and which you thus far failed dismally to rebut, that your polls borders on "regime change agenda" and desperate attempts to destabilize our hard won democracy.

2. We demand that ETV urgently take measures to radically change its management and leadership structures to reflect the demographics of our country, especially bringing Africans and Black people in such positions. This should include women, people with disability and the youth.

We also demand that a part of transformation of ETV, you adopt the policy of local content in all your programmes. By local content, we do not mean an opportunistic, narrow and conservative choice of a popular programme or subsector as happened at SABC, we mean a broader local content policy that also include empowering local production and commissioning, procurement of such content using local production and commissioning houses.

As you will surely agree, you are operating in SA, and not in the USA, an imperialist heartland and puppet master that has certainly captured your content and its production

3. We demand that you should as a matter of extreme urgency publish a policy and create proper enabling conditions in line with the constitution of our country and Bill of Rights and labour laws to allow workers and employees their rights as prescribed by law.

As you are supposed to know, South Africa is founded on the rule of law, and we believe that by denying workers their constitutionally recognized and guaranteed rights, you are undermining our country by selecting laws that bind you, and those you seek to treat with contempt.

4. We also demand that you take deliberate, decisive and constructive measures to adopt a comprehensive policy and value system that seeks to promote cultural diversity and progressive gender policies.

We believe this will build and promote a socially cohesive workplace that leverages the internationally recognized principle of our country as a multi-cultural and diverse rainbow nation. We firmly believe that this can only serve to enhance your workplace and contributes to nation building.

We say this in the light of the shocking and the embarrassing "Doek-Gate" that exposed your lack of appreciation of multi-cultural diversity of our country. This level of ignorance about real SA conditions is unacceptable.

In this regard, we extend our solidarity with the female worker who was attacked, humiliated and viciously attacked by your unacceptable high level of ignorance.

Let us remind you that your workers are not a threat to your company, on the contrary, they are your only source of strength.

The sooner you appreciate them, the quicker, faster and better you will be freed and liberated from all your fears, prejudice and stereotypes leading you deep into a better future you so desperately need.

We demand that you respond to these demands in a month from date of receipt of this memorandum. This exclude the 48 hour response expected in respect of the first demand stated above.

We are also challenging you to show cause why we should NOT report you to the Portfolio Committee on Communications to account on the lack of transformation, on the violation of workers and gender rights of your employees and the chronic lack of local content on all your programmes.

Handed over on behalf of SACP       Date: 08 July 2016

Jabob Mamabolo

Received on behalf of ETV by           Date: 08 July 2016

Anton Harber

For questions and interviews kindly contact Jacob Mamabolo 082 884 1868 or Alex Mashilo 082 920 0308

Issued by the SACP Gauteng province

Jacob Mamabolo - SACP Gauteng Provincial Secretary
Mobile: 082 884 1868

Lucian Segami - SACP Gauteng Provincial Spokesperson
Mobile: +2779 5220 098
Office: +2711 339 3621/2
Twitter: GPSACP
Facebook Page: SACP Gauteng Province

- See more at: http://www.sacp.org.za/main.php?ID=5454#sthash.pdhnIsR9.dpuf

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