SAUS Accuses The SABC of Inaccurate Reporting

The South African Union of Students has called out SABC news for false reporting. This comes after the public broadcaster reported an unverified story that Student Representative Counsels  are concerned that positive COVID-19 cases could continue to rise if residences remain open.

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In a statement released on Tuesday, the South African Union of Students (SAUS) have accused the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) of peddling misinformation.

This comes after the public broadcaster published a news story on Monday claiming Student Representative Councils (SRCs) are concerned about the rising number of Covid-19 cases and the consequences if student residences remain open under the current lockdown.

"On the 6th of July 2021, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), erroneously made misleading claims on their social media platforms, that “Student Representative Councils (SRCs) have raised concerns that positive COVID-19 cases could continue to rise if residences remain open”.

As a union and body representing all SRCs across all universities in the country, we want to categorically denounce such utterances from the SABC as untrue and misleading, in the same light we want to staunchly condemn this mischievous and propagandist stunt by the national broadcaster.

The Union, which represents all University SRCs in the country maintains that no student should be evicted while the academic year is in progress.  

In the event of implementation of harder lockdowns, we still maintain that students who were residing in residences when the tighter restrictions were implemented, must be allowed to carry on residing in residences.

SAUS says that it made attempts to verify the story by contacting all SRCs in universities throughout the country and says they distanced themselves from the story.

The SABC has neither responded nor retracted its online article

Furthermore, the union says it will only abide by the announcement made by the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, that all University residences will remain open amid adjusted level 4 lockdown.

Our call and stance was also echoed by the minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation in his previous address, outlining the plans for the Post School Education and Training institutions during Adjusted Level 4 lockdown.

"The minister in his address alluded “Residences will remain open, as it is also not safe for students to travel back home at this time and it is necessary for students to retain access to campus and residence-based WIFI." reads the statement.

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