Axed SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng File picture: ANA Pictures

Johannesburg - The Labour Court in Johannesburg ordered former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SABC and Simon Tebele to pay the legal costs in the case involving the SABC 8 journalists, who were dismissed unlawfully in 2016. 

The eight were fired from the public broadcaster last year for protesting against a ban of showing and broadcasting of violent scenes on all public broadcaster’s platforms.

The Labour Court later overturned their dismissals.

The court held the three responsible for the axing of the journalists and ordered them to pay the legal costs of Solidarity and trade union Bemawu (Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union), who represented the dismissed journalists.

Commenting on the ruling was Solidarity's Anton van der Bijl, who said this ruling can be considered to be a victory for all South Africans.

“This victory is not only our victory; it is a victory for all South Africans. It underlines the necessity that government officials, irrespective of how high and mighty they consider themselves to be, should be held accountable for their decisions. 

It also confirms the basic principles of transparency and accountability as set out in the Constitution. We are delighted with the verdict, which could also serve as a precedent in cases against comparable government officials,” Van der Bijl said. 

According to reports, Motsoeneng has announced his intention to appeal the ruling.