SABC fined 10K after viewers used on-screen phone number

Stop calling random numbers from TV guys! 

By  | Dec 06, 2018, 01:44 AM

SABC fined R10000

As Isidingo viewers, we thought it was an oversight on Isidingo's part when, during a recent episode, they showed the full phone number of a fictional character when his wife was supposedly calling him. 

Other viewers subsequently took down the number which they then dialled and found that it belongs to a real person, except, that person has nothing to do with Isidingo! 

The number was shown on screen as belonging to Tyson Mokoena, a character played by Shona Ferguson, but it really belongs to a woman named Thapelo Diale. She has since suffered stress in both her personal and professional life since her number was first shown on the episode. 

As such, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa has fined the SABC R10,000 for invasion of privacy.

According to Huffington Post SA, the BCCSA ruled that Thapelo Diale suffered "unprecedented, extraordinary and serious negative consequences". 

This is due to the fact that she claimed to have received a warning from her employer because her phone rang so much during office hours. Diale said she also received verbal abuse from the callers and suffered emotional harm as a result.

Seeing as displaying the number wasn't an intentional move on the part of the Isidingo team, as they claimed to have just made the number up when the need arose, the BCCSA initially ordered them to just apologize to Diale in a letter. 

Diale appealed however and later won. 

The SABC also had to pay the R10,000 fine to the commission. 

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