Solidarity upbeat about case against SABC

By Amy Musgrave, Group Labour Editor Time of article published Jul 20, 2016

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Johannesburg - Trade union Solidarity has high hopes that its Labour Court case against the SABC on Thursday will be successful following the broadcaster losing a legal battle in the high court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

The SABC threw in the towel on Wednesday, deciding to concede to an interim interdict by the Helen Suzman Foundation not to exercise self censorship when it comes to the coverage of protests.

It also agreed to broadcast images of violent protests during its news bulletins.

“The fact that the SABC is prevented from applying further censorship by an order of the high court until the legality of the controversial instruction is adjudicated in court at a later stage is clear proof that the SABC’s censorship is wrong,” said Solidarity deputy chief executive Johan Kruger.

According to Kruger, the ruling strengthened Solidarity’s Labour Court case.

“The interdict means the court has already found that the instruction to exercise censorship is prima facie unlawful and should be stopped by means of a court order. This paves the way for the Labour Court to rule that the suspensions, disciplinary action and dismissal of the journalists arising from the unlawful instruction are also unfair and should be reversed,” Kruger said.

The union will apply for an interdict on Thursday on behalf of the four SABC employees, SAfm current affairs executive producer Krivani Pillay, RSG executive editor Foeta Krige, senior investigative journalist Jacques Steenkamp and senior journalist Suna Venter who were fired with immediate effect by the broadcaster.

This followed them and four others being shown the door for objecting to the censorship policy.

Labour Bureau

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