21 October 1997


Authorities suspend plans to halt re-transmission of South African Broadcasting Corporation signals

Incident details

legal action

(MISA/IFEX) - Public protests have forced Swaziland Television to
suspend its decision to stop the re-transmission of the signals
of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Swaziland
Television Director Mike Conwell first announced the decision on
15 October 1997, saying his station would switch off the
transmitter that makes it possible to view the SABC in Swaziland.

Conwell explained that the decision to stop transmitting the SABC
channels was purely financial. He said Swazi TV is the only
station that re-transmits the SABC signals to its viewers. "This
is costly to us. It is not a sudden decision; it is something we
have been working on for some time."

The decision, which came in the wake of a mass labour boycott in
Swaziland, received wide criticism from people who viewed it as
an attempt to prevent the coverage of the boycott and future
political events in Swaziland. Conwell denied he was stopping the
service because of the SABC's full coverage of the strike, which
took place on 13-14 October.


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