Solidarity to approach Labour Court to set aside suspension of SABC journalists

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Local trade union, Solidarity, will this Thursday attempt to have a court interdict launched to the suspensions of the suspended SABC journalists set aside for the time being.

The union, which has been acting as the legal representative for Krivani Pillay, Foeta Krige, Suna Venter and Jacques Steenkamp since the first three were suspended in June, said it will approach the court to obtain an urgent interdict against the SABC, pending the adjudication by the Constitutional Court of the lawfulness of the SABC’s censorship instructions.

Gqubule, Krige, Venter and Steenkamp are part of what is now known as the “SABC 8”, a group that also includes Busisiwe Ntuli, Krivani Pillay,Lukhanyo Calata and Vuyo Mvoko, who’ve also all been suspended in the last month.

“This comes after the SABC still failed to withdraw the charges against the journalists for their refusal to apply censorship,” the union said in a statement.

It added that, in a recent letter to the SABC 8, the public broadcaster accused them of having allegedly committed “further misbehaviour” by informing the media of their suspensions and their continued refusal to comply with the its editorial instructions.

“To suspend or discipline employees because they have distanced themselves from an unlawful instruction amounts to an unfair labour practice,”said Solidarity CEO, Dirk Hermann. “We therefore believe that the individuals concerned have a very strong case against the SABC for the very reason that the charges laid against them by their employer are inconsistent with the Constitution.”

[Image- CC Public Domain]