It was a harrowing episode of one of South Africa’s most-loved soap operas.
Isidingo viewers were shaken to their core as Sechaba Moloi-Matabane (played by Motlatsi Mafatshe) was verbally abused then attacked and buried alive by two Afrikaans men.
The scene, which was aired a day before Freedom Day, left viewers divided, and 35 members of the public launched formal complaints with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa.
The SABC 3 programme showed the two white men expressed racial slurs towards Sechaba, physically assaulting him, and burying him.
The hearing for the complaints against the SABC took place this morning but none of those who lodged the complaints attended.
AfriForum was vocal about its discontent with the Isidingo scene, claiming it portrayed anti-white racism, but had not lodged a formal complaint in the name of supporting creative freedom.
“We acknowledge the right of the producers of Isidingo to artistic freedom and cannot dictate what must be aired in the programme. We are, however, concerned over the public reaction that followed after this episode from within certain ranks,” said Ernst Roets, deputy chief executive of AfriForum.
Roets said this scene on Isidingo was not an everyday reality in South Africa.
“Various commentators described the particular Isidingo episode as a reflection of the reality and spread the episode in an attempt to incite anti-white racism,” he said.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said they were aware of the complaints regarding the episode but the SABC was not able to comment on the complaints because the commission’s judgment was still pending.
The commission could not give details of the complaints for the same reason.
Roets said: “The producers of Isidingo ought to take a strong public standpoint against all forms of racism.”
The judgment will be released in three to four weeks.