Cape Town – The SABC did not respond to reports that the public broadcaster's chief operating office Hlaudi Motsoeneng instructed staff not to join protests outside its offices on Friday.Reliable sources shared with News24 that the instruction was filtered down to SABC staff to stay away, or face disciplinary action.Zwelinzima Vavi, former Cosatu general secretary, shared similar information with protesters outside the SABC head office in Auckland Park on Friday."First I am told that the workers who should have joined us at 10:00 have just been locked inside by the tsar Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who has told everybody last night that anybody who will come out and support this demonstration today must consider themselves as having been fired," Vavi told the crowd."It seems he didn't trust his intimidation. He went beyond that to lock the gates so that no worker must come out and support the colleagues."SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago was asked to comment on the alleged instruction and locking in of staff, but had not responded by 12:00 on Friday.In Cape Town, protesting journalists, editors and members of the public sang the national anthem as icy rain pelted down in Sea Point.SABC journalist Lukhanyo Calata, who spoke out against his employer earlier in the week, joined the demonstration.With an SABC cameraman standing nearby, Calata asked the crowd to sing the national anthem again and said they would see whether the footage made the news.