Cape Times editor considers legal action

2013-12-11 21:25
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Johannesburg - Former Cape Times editor Alide Dasnois is considering legal action following her dismissal from the newspaper, she said on Wednesday.

"In my opinion, I was unfairly dismissed from my position at the Cape Times," she said.

"I have taken legal advice and we are considering referring a dispute to the CCMA [Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration] or the Labour Court."

It was reported on Friday that Dasnois had been fired and that she was informed of her dismissal the same day.

Independent News and Media SA (INMSA) chairperson Iqbal Surve said in a statement on Monday that Dasnois had not been fired, but had been offered alternative positions in the company.

"Ms Dasnois was not fired," Surve said in a statement.

"When she was removed as executive editor she was offered various other positions in the company to which I still await a response."

He was responding to concerns voiced by the SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) and Cape Town Press Club that Dasnois may have been fired after the newspaper ran a story on Friday which painted Sekunjalo in a negative light.

The story was about a Public Protector finding that the awarding of a fisheries tender by the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries department to Sekunjalo Marine Services Consortium was improper.

The consortium is a subsidiary of Sekunjalo Holdings and acquired a controlling share in INMSA earlier this year.

On Monday, the staff of the Cape Times issued a statement indicating their "deep anger and protest" at the dismissal of Dasnois.

"Although Dasnois was told three days ago [Friday] not to return to work, staff have still not been officially informed of the reason for her sudden dismissal," they said in the statement.

"The staff's concern, from the sequence of events, is that the new owners of the newspaper, Sekunjalo Independent Media, are attempting to compromise the editorial independence of the Cape Times."

If this was the case, it was a direct threat to the standing and independence of the newspaper.

"Dasnois has asked staff to continue with normal production of the newspaper, especially this week, as a sign of respect to Nelson Mandela. We respect her wishes," staff said.

"We will be in discussion and decide on appropriate action for next week. Editorial staff at The Cape Argus and The Star support this statement."

- SAPA

Read more on:    cape town  |  media
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