Monday, July 11, 2016

SABC adds 'further misconduct' charges to 3 of its 8 suspended SABC News journalists for 'informing the media about their suspensions'.

The crisis-riddled SABC has added "further misconduct" charges against 3 of its 8 suspended SABC News journalists, charging Foeta Krige, Thandeka Gqubule and Suna Venter among other things with "informing the media about their suspensions".

The SABC at the same time decided to "indefinitely postpone" the disciplinary hearing against Foeta Krige, Thandeka Gqubule and Suna Venter. Their disciplinary hearings were set to take place on Monday.

We are urgently appealing to all South Africans to stand firmly behind the suspended journalists to stamp out the SABC’s attack on press freedom," says Dirk Hermann, the head of Solidarity.

"We are calling for the immediate suspension of Hlaudi Motsoeneng, COO of the SABC, pending an investigation into his ability to manage the SABC," says Solidarity.

Foeta Krige, the executive editor of Monitor and Spektrum on the SABC's RSG radio station, journalist Suna Venter and SABC business editor Thandeka Gqubule were suspended by the SABC last month after they dared to say in a daily news diary meeting that they're don't agree with the SABC's censorship to not cover any of the Right2Know Campaign's public protests at SABC offices countrywide.

The SABC blocking any coverage of the Right2Know Campaign's public protests over SABC censorship, came after the SABC in May announced that it will be censoring SABC TV news visuals of public protests that contain destruction of property.

The SABC has meanwhile also suspended and is taking disciplinary action against 5 other SABC News staffers.

Busisiwe NtuliJacques Steenkamp and Krivani Pillay were suspended after they sent a collective letter to SABC chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng requesting a meeting over SABC News and censorship policies after Jimi Matthews quit two weeks ago.

The SABC ordered the SABC contributing editor Vuyo Mvoko to give reasons why his contract shouldn't be terminated after writing about "My Hell at the SABC" as a front page newspaper article.

Lukhanyo Calata was charged with a disciplinary hearing after writing a scathing opinion-editorial on the SABC.

Solidarity says it will approach the Constitutional Court this week for a case to test the SABC's SABC TV News censorship decision. Solidarity will also go to the Labour court to get an interdict against the SABC's disciplinary process against the suspended journalists.

Solidarity said it welcomes the broadcasting regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) ruling today against the SABC's decision to censor SABC TV news public protest visuals.

"The ruling proves that the SABC, under the guidance of Hlaudi Motsoeneng, did not act within the framework of the Constitution. We therefore request that all charges against the suspended SABC employees be withdrawn and that Hlaudi Motsoeneng be removed from his position as chief operating officer of the SABC immediately, pending an investigation".

"Icasa's ruling is a victory for the ethical SABC journalists who, despite unlawful instructions and intimidation, stood up for constitutional principles," says Solidarity.