Suspensions must be stayed - union representing SABC journos

2016-07-11 20:57
(Wim Pretorius, News24)

(Wim Pretorius, News24)

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Cape Town – Disciplinary proceedings against eight SABC journalists must be stayed immediately following Icasa’s ruling on Monday, their trade union said.

Icasa’s decision that the SABC must withdraw its decision to ban visuals of protests confirmed that the charges against the journalists were “illegal”, Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann told News24 on Monday.

The union is representing the eight, who have either been suspended or are facing disciplinary proceedings. 

Hermann said the instruction the journalists distanced themselves from was unlawful, which meant the entire disciplinary process was unlawful. He called on the SABC to withdraw the charges and drop the suspensions.

COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng should be suspended for enforcing an unlawful instruction. 

“It’s quite clear that he is unfit for his current position.”

Labour Court interdict

Solidarity intended applying for a Labour Court interdict to stop the SABC from going ahead with disciplinary proceedings against the journalists until legal challenges against the broadcaster had been finalised.

These challenges included the Icasa ruling, a High Court challenge by the Helen Suzman Foundation, and a Constitutional Court challenge by the Freedom of Expression Institute.

The SABC’s board chairperson had seven days to confirm to Icasa that he had implemented its decision.

Additional charges

He lamented the broadcaster’s decision to further charge the original trio of journalists who were suspended for objecting to an editorial decision to not cover a protest outside the SABC’s headquarters in Johannesburg in May.

The three are Foeta Krige, Suna Venter, and Thandeka Gqubule.

They would face addition charges, which related to the fact that their concerns were communicated to the media, and because they still distanced themselves from the instruction on covering protests.

“The fact is, the journalists are on the right side, and the SABC is on the wrong side,” Hermann said.

Read more on:    sabc  |  hlaudi motsoeneng  |  cape town  |  media
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