The Labour Court’s ruling that four of the axed SABC journalists must be reinstated is the first victory in a larger battle against those in the broadcaster who feel that the Constitution does not apply to them, trade union Solidarity said.
The four journalists are Foeta Krige, Suna Venter, Krivani Pillay and Jacques Steenkamp.
The court ruled earlier today that the dismissal of the four was unlawful.
“This is a solid win,” Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann told reporters after the judgment. Using a tennis metaphor, he said this was a “six-love” win, because the policy the journalists were speaking out against and their dismissals were unlawful, their suspensions and disciplinary actions were interdicted and the journalists were going back to work.
According to the judgment, those responsible for the dismissals must – within five days – convince the court why they should not be personally held liable for the costs of the dismissals and the subsequent proceedings.
“It is game, set and match,“ Hermann said.
“The strategic battle has been won, but ultimately the war must still go on. We are appealing to the civil society alliance to win the war so that the SABC will once again be owned by South Africans.
“With the matter of Hlaudi Motsoeneng versus democracy, democracy triumphed and Hlaudi lost. One can only run away for from the law for so long.”