Four SABC journalists dismissed

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Johannesburg, 4 July 2016 - Hlaudi Motsoenengs troubles look set to intensify. Theres talk of more legal action, as well as calls for a task team and the Public Protector to investigate the SABC COO.

JOHANNESBURG – South African Broadcasting Corporation journalists Krivani Pillay, Jacques Steenkamp, Suna Venter and Foeta Krige have been dismissed by the public broadcaster.

They were served with termination letters on Monday.

The four journalists are part of a group of eight which took a stand against the public broadcaster for censorship over the SABC’s decision not to broadcast violent protests.

The eight suspended SABC journalists filed an urgent application for direct access to the Constitutional Court, their attorney said on Friday.

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Aslam Moosajee, who is representing the suspended journalists said his clients seek to have the court declare unconstitutional and invalid the SABC’s policy not to broadcast footage of violent protest action.

They contend that the policy places SABC journalists in an intolerable position because they are forced to “choose between protecting their jobs and adhering to their ethical and constitutional duties to truthfully and fairly report the news.”

In the application, the SABC 8 state:

“The SABC is not merely a broadcast service provider.  It is the public broadcaster.  The SABC supplies the majority of South Africans with news and information.  The role of the SABC should be understood in the context of the constitutionally entrenched right of freedom of the press and the freedom to receive or impart information.”

They added that, at present, SABC journalists “are unable to engage in meaningful debate and discussion, even internally, regarding the wisdom of the [SABC’s] Policy.”