Daughter of fired SABC journalist to address Maties students at campus protest

2016-07-21 17:55

Cape Town - The daughter of one of the "SABC 8", Dalaine Krige, is expected to address a group of Stellenbosch University students who plan to protest on Friday in solidarity with the journalists fired from the public broadcaster, a representative has confirmed.

The Maties student’s father, Foeta Krige, along with seven other journalists, were fired this week by the SABC - for disagreeing with a decision to censor coverage of violent protests - before the disciplinary cases against some of them had been concluded.

SRC vice chairperson James De Villers on Thursday said the action was being organised by concerned students who wanted to take a stand for journalistic freedom and integrity across SA.

"The SABC, mandated by law to provide objective reporting, is the sole source of information to some 22 million South Africans. Section 16 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa entrenches freedom of expression and this hard won victory should not be unduly limited in a young and vibrant democracy," De Villiers said in a statement.

"It is therefore crucial, for the health of our democracy and to keep our leaders accountable, that the SABC remains unpartisan and unbiased in its delivery of the news."

Recent events at the SABC had proven the need for civil society to safeguard this cornerstone, he argued. 

"The head of the journalism department, Professor Lizette Rabe, … will add her department’s voice to the growing number of academics speaking out in favour of an independent public broadcaster."

He encouraged people to donate to the crowdfunding campaign started by News24 editor Adriaan Basson in aid of the fired journalists.
The group was expected to gather on the library steps of the university's Rooiplein at 13:00.

Krige, Suna Venter, Krivani Pillay and Jacques Steenkamp were informed of their axing on Monday. They approached the Labour Court on Thursday, wanting it to set aside their dismissals and revoke their disciplinary processes.

The matter was postponed to 12:30 on Friday to allow the SABC to file papers. 

The broadcaster also fired Busisiwe Ntuli, a specialist producer for investigative programme Special Assignment, and Lukhanyo Calata, a SABC journalist in Cape Town. Economics editor Thandeka Gqubule was also sacked.

The eighth person was freelance journalist Vuyo Mvoko, whose contract was terminated.

News24 earlier reported that all eight reporters have applied for direct access to the Constitutional Court. 

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