Seven suspended SABC journalists axed

BY CHARL BOSCH - JULY 19, 2016

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has reportedly fired seven of the suspended eight journalists on Tuesday following the initial sacking of four on Monday evening.

According to reports, the broadcaster, in an email, announced it had severed ties with Economics Editor Thandeka Gqubule, Parliamentary Correspondent Lukhanyo Calata and Special Assignment Executive Producer Busi Ntuli while the contract of Specialist Presenter Vuyo Mvoko, who worked on a freelance basis, was not renewed.

Their axing comes less than 24 hours after senior investigate reporter Jacque Steenkamp, SAfm Current Affairs Executive Producer Krivani Pillay, Radio Sonder Grense (RSG) Executive Producer Foeta Krige and RSG Senior Journalist Suna Venter, were fired after being placed on suspension last month for questioning the broadcaster’s decision not to show violent protests on television.

Earlier today, trade union Solidarity confirmed it would approach the Labour Court this coming Thursday to have the suspension of the Krige, Pillay, Venter and Steenkamp overturned on the basis of unlawful labour practises.

“We believe in the rule of law and that unlawfulness should bear its consequences. We are going to take the matter even further by asking for an order as to costs against [Chief Operations Officers] Hlaudi Motsoeneng in his personal capacity,” Solidarity Chief Executive Dirk Hermann said in a statement.

Last week the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) ruled that the broadcaster lift the ban by July 18th as it amounts censorship. Motsoeneng has however stated that the ban would remain until more information is provided.