3 SABC employees suspended after opposing non-coverage of protest

2016-06-24 10:51
Foeta Krige placed this photograph on Facebook (Netwerk24)

Foeta Krige placed this photograph on Facebook (Netwerk24)

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WATCH: SABC 'censorship' - should you pay your TV licence?

2016-06-24 09:05

In May, the SABC’s controversial COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, announced significant restructuring around their content, and have since been accused of censorship. Should South Africans feel entitled not to pay their TV licenses? Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg - Three SABC employees have been served with suspension letters for allegedly contravening an order by the public broadcaster not to cover a protest.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago confirmed that three employees had been suspended but declined to divulge any further details.

“It is an employer-employee issue and we are handling it as such. We do not want to engage in the public space, it is not fair to them and it is not fair to us,” he said.

News24 understands that economics editor Thandeka Gqubule, RSG executive producer Foeta Krige and Afrikaans news producer Suna Venter were served with the papers on Thursday stating that they were suspended indefinitely.

Right2Know protest

No reason was stated for their suspension. However, it was understood that all three had voiced their concern and disagreement over not covering a Right2Know (R2K) protest which took place outside the SABC building on Monday.

In the letters, the trio was reportedly told the matter would be investigated.

The broadcaster has faced increasing criticism following COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s decision last month not to show footage of violent protests.

He argued that showing footage of the destruction of property would encourage such actions.

The criticism against Motsoeneng peaked this week after footage of the unrest that broke out in Tshwane was not aired on the SABC.

The R2K protest outside the SABC's offices related to Motsoeneng's decision.

Sanef 'shocked'

Meanwhile, the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) said in a statement on Friday that it is shocked by the suspension of the three senior SABC journalists.

Sanef said the journalists were suspended for disagreeing with an instruction during a diary conference not to cover the Right2Know campaign’s protest against censorship at the public broadcaster.

"Sanef urges the SABC to immediately lift the suspensions of these journalists. Journalists in a constitutional democracy have a right to express themselves freely," Sanef said.

It will write to the SABC to insist that it must respect the rights to freedom of thought and expression of journalists.

Read more on:    sabc  |  johannesburg  |  media

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