The SABC headquarters at Auckland Park in Johannesburg. File picture: Cara Viereckl/Independent Media
Johannesburg – Trade unions Solidarity and the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) have asked the Labour Court to include former chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng as a respondent in their cost order related to their challenge of the sacking of eight SABC employees

"The application by trade unions Solidarity and Bemawu that Hlaudi Motsoeneng should be added as a respondent in the two unions' cost order case against the SABC will be heard in the Labour Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 28 March 2017," said Solidarity in a statement on Friday.

The move comes after the Labour Court's 2016 ruling that the SABC 8 had been unlawfully dismissed.

At the time, Motsoeneng was SABC COO.

All eight employees were fired for opposing Motsoeneng's impromptu policy that the SABC should not, among other instructions, show footage of violent strikes or community protests.

A court has since ruled that Motsoeneng can not occupy any position at SABC until he undergoes an internal discipline hearing as instructed by the public protector.

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The public protector found that Motsoeneng unlawfully raised his pay, fired those who disagreed with him and lied that he had a matric certificate. The court also granted, with costs, the applications of both Solidarity and Bemawu, each representing four of the SABC members, that the journalists should be reinstated.

Anton van der Bijl, head of Solidarity's Centre for Fair Labour Practices, said the trade unions would argue that, although Motsoeneng did not carry out the instruction himself, the de facto decision to dismiss the journalists was carried out by Simon Tebele on his instruction.

Tebele has already been added as a respondent to the case.

Van der Bijl furthermore explained that the trade unions want to add Motsoeneng to the case to hold him personally liable for the legal costs incurred by the two trade unions.