ANN7 antisemitism cover-up

In January, the independent TV station ANN7 organised a panel debate on security in Sandringham for a programme it was making on the subject. It was reported that one of the panellists, Zahir Omar (of the Muslim Lawyers Association of SA), made explicitly antisemitic comments during the discussion. The Board contacted ANN7 to ensure that these were not included in what was broadcast and further asked that it be allowed to view the unedited footage of the debate in order to ascertain the truth or otherwise of the allegations. While no overt antisemitism featured in the programme subsequently broadcast, ANN7 declined to make the unedited footage available, whereupon the Board’s legal representatives formally demanded that it do so in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act.
 ANN7 in due course responded, saying that sections of the footage had been deleted, that it distanced itself from Omar’s comments and that it would not make the remainder of the unedited footage available to the Board. The Board responded that ANN7 both acknowledged that antisemitic comments were indeed made by Omar and that it had taken steps to destroy the evidence rather than allow the Board to assess what was said and determine whether to take appropriate action in that regard. In view of the relevant footage having been deleted, it had been decided that there was no point in its pursuing this particular matter further. The Board remained committed to ongoing dialogue on the matter and any other matter issue going forward.

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