Labour court judgment on axed SABC journalists set for Tuesday

The Labour Court will on Tuesday hand down its decision on whether to grant an interdict to set aside the dismissal of four journalists who opposed controversial editorial “censorship” policies at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Trade union Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann ?@SolidariDirk tweeted: “SABC 4 judgement postponed till Tuesday 26 July‚ 10:00‚ in Cape Town Labour Court.”

The four journalists – Foeta Krige‚ Suna Venter‚ Jacques Steenkamp and Krivani Pillay – were notified by email of their dismissal for failing to comply with the broadcaster’s policies.

They were among staff who spoke out against a decision by chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng to ban news coverage of violent protests.

The Independent Communications Authority of South African (Icasa) has already ordered the SABC to reverse its decision to ban footage of destructive protests.

Hermann said last week that the SABC should welcome the journalists back to work after the Icasa ruling. They approached the court to set aside their dismissals on Friday.

“We are extremely disappointed that the SABC still wants to carry on with the case. It is now common cause that the instruction to exercise censorship was unlawful. It follows that all actions arising from it would also be unlawful‚” he said.

“The right thing to do‚ morally and juristically‚ would be to welcome back the journalists at work and to allow them to inform the public about news events especially regarding the upcoming local government elections‚” he said. – TMG Digital



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