SABC acting chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng says that journalists only report on corruption because the country is run by blacks.
He was speaking at the annual Joburg Radio Days at Wits University in Johannesburg.
Motsoeneng proposed that journalists have a licence to practice like those in the medical and law professions, the SABC reported on Thursday.
Motsoeneng said journalists who acted unprofessionally should be stripped of their licences.
“You know when you are a journalist, you are a professional journalist. If you don’t have ethics and principles and you mislead on your reporting, like lawyers… if you commit any mistake they take your licence,” he was quoted as saying.
“We should do the same thing with journalists, that is what we need to do if we want to build South Africa.”
According to Eyewitness News, Motsoeneng said the media only reported on corruption because the country was run by blacks.
Motsoeneng must be fired: DA
The comments by Motsoeneng incited the Democratic Alliance, which said the statements have given the SABC Board another reason to suspend him.
“These are not the considered opinions of a responsible and independent public broadcasting professional,” the party said.
“They are the senseless ramblings of a man hell-bent on presenting Jacob Zuma’s ANC in a positive light amidst the litany of corruption scandals that dog his Presidency.”
“There is no reason for Mr Motsoeneng to still be at the SABC, and every reason to relieve him of his duties,” Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis said in a statement.
“Hlaudi Motsoeneng today confirmed why the SABC board must suspend him without delay… [His comments] are not the considered opinions of a responsible and independent public broadcasting professional.”
In February, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report “When governance and ethics fail” which found Motsoeneng’s appointment irregular. Among other things, his salary increased from R1.5 million to R2.4 million in one year.
She found he misrepresented his qualifications, that he passed matric, to the SABC, and recommended he be replaced.