A parody account tweeted this screenshot of a graph on SABC News allegedly screened earlier on Thursday.
It showed an enormous green skyscraper next to a far smaller one for the DA, despite both parties’ share of the vote actually being quite similar.
— ANN7Reporter (@ANN7Reporter) August 4, 2016
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille immediately jumped on board with a comment.
— Helen Zille (@helenzille) August 4, 2016
When The Citizen tuned in to SABC News on DStv channel 404 at 8.30pm, a broadcast about the results in Nelson Mandela Bay featured a journalist reporting on the election data from the metro, with the reporter, Thami Dickson, saying the DA had won only “47%” of the vote. Dickson seemed convinced that the ANC could still somehow win in the Bay, despite there being less than 9% of the vote left to count and the ANC still sitting on around 40%.
He interviewed ANC provincial chairperson Phumullo Masualle, who seemed equally optimistic about the ANC’s prospects.
The SABC has often been accused of taking a more favourable approach when it comes to reporting on the ANC. The public broadcaster’s chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng – it was declared in court affidavits deposed to by formerly fired journalists – had allegedly ordered his staff to always give President Jacob Zuma more time to respond to stories, because he was “special”.
He, however, allegedly said no such special treatment needed to be extended to the likes of ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.
This wasn’t the only alleged blunder in the reporting of stats today. This depiction of the voting numbers in Gauteng was allegedly also tweeted by the SA government earlier in the day. The Citizen has not been able to authenticate the veracity of either image. But that doesn’t make them any less funny.