South African opposition party the Democratic Alliance (DA) has said it will fight the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) decision to remove its “Ayisafani” television commercial.

In the commercial, the DA claims the African National Congress (ANC) is “corrupt” and “for the connected few”, and shows images of President Zuma’s Nkandla estate, police brutality and unemployed South Africans, but the SABC has chosen to stop airing it.

“This is censorship pure and simple,” said the DA’s premier candidate for Gauteng and national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane.

“The reasons advanced by the SABC are spurious, and almost certainly illegal. This is a transparent attempt by the SABC to protect Jacob Zuma from any public accountability for the Nkandla scandal.”

The DA has said the SABC has bowed to the ANC because of the “hugely positive response that the advert has generated”.

“The DA will fight this censorship. We have already briefed our lawyers this morning, and will begin legal proceedings to overturn this decision immediately. Political advertising regulations require us to approach ICASA. We are confident ICASA will dismiss the SABC’s censorship and reinstate the commercial immediately,” said Maimane.

The DA has launched an offensive against Zuma ahead of the presidential elections in May, resulting in the ANC taking the opposition party to court over a bulk SMS which accused Zuma of stealing public money.

A judge ruled in the DA’s favour, with the ANC then announcng its plan to appeal the judgement, with the DA saying it would use the results of the court case as evidence to have Zuma impeached.

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