SABC denies Maimane’s claimed debate

File. DA leader Mmusi Maimane addresses the media after a brief meeting with the Zimbabwean ambassador at the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria on 31 February 2019. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

File. DA leader Mmusi Maimane addresses the media after a brief meeting with the Zimbabwean ambassador at the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria on 31 February 2019. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

The public broadcaster set the record straight in an effort to quell confusion caused by a DA statement expressing the party’s excitement about the debate.

The public broadcaster has stated for the record that it currently has no plans to record and air an election debate between the leader of the DA Mmusi Maimane and president Cyril Ramaphosa.

For weeks now, Maimane has been publically goading Ramaphosa into a debate which he hinted would air on the public broadcaster.

Controversial TV blogger Thinus Ferriera ran with the misinformation that the SABC would be going ahead with the debate and even gave the broadcast date of 28 April 2019.

Ferriera also tagged Redi Tlhabi stating that her SABC show, The Big Debate would provide the platform for this to happen. Tlhabi quickly put the rumours to bed, stating that she believes the DA sent out a press release as though the debate would be happening in an effort to back Ramaphosa into a corner.

Ferriera was then chided by social media users for spreading “fake news” and Tlhabi quickly came to his defence.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the SABC further set the record straight by confirming that the debate between the two leaders would not be happening.

“The SABC would like to put on record that it has no plans to host a debate between ANC
President Cyril Ramaphosa and DA leader Mmusi Maimane. As such, there has been no
communication shared with the public regarding the matter,” read part of the statement.

“The public broadcaster wants to state as fact that one of its elections productions, The Big
Debate has approached leaders of political parties to participate in a debate scheduled for
its final episode ahead of the May 8 elections. Plans for the proposed debate are still underway,” said the SABC.

READ NEXT: There will be no Ramaphosa vs Maimane debate on SABC, says ANC

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