Unions join forces against Motsoeneng

2017-02-28 18:00
Hlaudi Motsoeneng. (Picture: Felix Dlangamandla)

Hlaudi Motsoeneng. (Picture: Felix Dlangamandla)

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Cape Town – Trade unions Solidarity and the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) have consolidated their court cases to get Hlaudi Motsoeneng to pay the legal costs they incurred defending the SABC 8.

Solidarity believes that former SABC COO Motsoeneng was behind the decision to fire the eight, the union's deputy chief executive, Johan Kruger, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Solidarity and Bemawu originally brought separate cases for Motsoeneng to be held personally liable for their legal costs.

Both unions represented members of the so-called SABC 8. In a replying affidavit, Motsoeneng argued that claims that the decision came from him were baseless.

In September the Labour Court found that the SABC 8 were irregularly fired in July for speaking out against the SABC's policy to no longer air footage of violent protests.

Constitutional Court challenge

The SABC subsequently rehired Suna Venter, Foeta Krige, Krivani Pillay, Thandeka Gqubule, Busisiwe Ntuli, Lukhanyo Calata and Jacques Steenkamp. The freelance journalist Vuyo Mvoko was awaiting the outcome of an internal disciplinary process to hear whether his contract would be terminated.

They are taking the broadcaster to the Constitutional Court to stop what they say is its continuing "unlawful conduct".

Parliament's ad hoc committee looking into the SABC board's fitness for office adopted a final draft report on Friday. In it MPs accuse Communications Minister Faith Muthambi of interfering in the SABC board's affairs and in the broadcaster's recruitment decisions.

Venter was shot in the face with a pellet gun in Linden, Johannesburg, in January. She initially thought the assault was a botched robbery, but said police had told her they suspected it was part of acts of intimidation against the eight.

In February, the Western Cape High Court dismissed the SABC's appeal against an earlier ruling that Motsoeneng could not work at the broadcaster in any capacity.

Read more on:    sabc  |  hlaudi motsoeneng  |  media

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