Vuyo Mvoko takes SABC to court
Johannesburg - SABC rebel Vuyo Mvoko will turn to the high court to order the broadcaster to put him back on air after he spoke out against censorship.
In court papers served on the SABC on Thursday, Mvoko argues that the public broadcaster has violated the independent contract agreement he has with them. He also details instances of censorship and intimidation at the broadcaster, which he alleges he has directly experienced.
Seven SABC staffers were fired this week for questioning the broadcaster’s policies following its decision to ban the airing of violent protests. In defence of this move, SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng had argued that violent visuals stoked more violence in South Africa.
However on Wednesday the high court in Pretoria disagreed, and granted the Helen Suzman Foundation’s application to interdict the SABC from practicing this ban.
While Mvoko, who is not a permanent employee, was not shown the door with the others, the SABC has refused to “schedule” him. That means SABC bosses have not called on him to perform any work on behalf of the broadcaster since earlier this month.
The broadcaster believes that by speaking out against the censorship policies, Mvoko brought it into disrepute and breached his contract.
But Mvoko disagrees, making a number of arguments to support his case in the documents.
“The applicant shall ask for a final order… that it is declared that the [SABC’s] decision not to schedule the applicant’s services as an independent contractor… is unlawful, unconstitutional and constitutes a breach of the contract,” the papers argue.
* More details on this developing story can be found in Friday’s Independent Media titles.