Wednesday, September 9, 2015

BREAKING. SABC set to suspend 4 assignment editors after they spoke to the media about their dispute with the SABC over unfair labour practices.

The SABC is set to suspend Faith Daniels, Crosby Amos, Ronel van Zyl and Clive Govender after the four allegedly spoke to the media about their dispute with the SABC over unfair labour practices.

City Press reports that the four were given letters if intention to suspend them, signed by the SABC's head of news, Jimi Matthews.

Hannes du Buisson, president of the trade union Bemawu expressed his "utmost shock and disbelief" at the SABC's action.

"Our members cannot be suspended for something they have not done. It is furthermore not necessary to suspend an employee to investigate the matter," according to Hannes du Buisson, who says the intended suspensions of the SABC News staff instills fear.

"We submit that the suspension process is used in a manner intended to instil fear and silence and should the suspensions proceed, we will exercise our rights on behalf of our members," Hannes du Buisson wrote.

"This attitude of the SABC is a clear demonstration of management by fear and a total disregard of the constitutional right of freedom of speech. We do not believe this is the way to deal with labour disputes and loyal SABC employees who pursue their rights in respect of a workplace issue."

According to recent reports, Clive Govender and Faith Daniels were "under immense pressure" at the SABC and apparently "unhappy about the level of incompetency in some of the regions" at the SABC's SABC News division, while work was piling up.

According to insiders quoted by City Press, they are getting paid less than other SABC News colleagues working in the same positions around the country and have to perform as central desk editors.

Their attempts to negotiate a settlement with the SABC was rejected and now a case is set to be hear in the first week of October at the CCMA.

The additional burned on the workers came about when they were allegedly forced to take on the increased workload when the SABC launched its new second version of SABC News (DStv 404) as a 24-hour TV news channel on MultiChoice's DStv platform, replacing the closed down SABC News International which failed.

The SABC News employees asked for better pay and back pay for the more work and duties they've been performing - for some going as far back as 2011.

According to SABC spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, "the corporation has, as per norm, issued letters for the employees to explain themselves about the utterances made in the media and therefore we cannot comment further or make any conclusions on this issue until they have responded to the SABC directly, not through the media."

"Anyone who is not designated to speak to the media and does so will have contravened their employment contract," said Kaizer Kganyago.