The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) will now avoid covering negative news about its president in a plea for “respect”.

SABC continues to face crisis. After the recent accusations of censorship, according to which the broadcasting corporation did not show protests happening outside of its headquarters and in Tshwane, SABC now reportedly won’t show bad news about its president either.

The local newspaper Rapport, recently conducted an investigation into SABC’s state affairs. The report informed that around three weeks ago, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, SABC’s Chief Operation Officer, instructed reporters not to air negative coverage of the president Jacob Zuma because he “deserves a certain degree of respect”. This came shortly after the president was called to court to face accusations of spending public money for upgrades to his private home. In addition, Motsoeneng allegedly instructed that 80 per cent of the news coverage has to be positive, and that all possible negative stories will not easily find a place in the news.

However, Kaizer Kganyago, a SABC spokerperson, dismissed the allegations to the local source news City Press. “It is not true,” he said. “People are just obsessed with Hlaudi”.

Obsessions or not, last week three seniors SABC members were suspended after they opposed Mostsoeneng to cover the protests outside SABC office. Shortly after, its acting CEO Jimi Matthews, resigned as a result of the organisation’s “prevailing, corrosive atmosphere.”

The priorities for SABC now seem to be switching. As a source told Rapport, “the focus shifted to covering ceremonies rather than issues”, with the possibility of leaving enough room for further censorship.