The trade union representing two of the #SABC8 journalists that have been fired by the pubic broadcaster has revealed that they were allegedly dismissed for speaking to the media.
The Broadcasting, Electronic Media and Allied Workers’ Union (BEMAWU) is representing Lukhanyo Calata and Busisiwe Ntuli.
Speaking to htxt.africa, BEMAWU spokesperson Hannes du Buisson said the SABC told Calata and Ntuili they were fired for speaking to the media about the public broadcaster. That, they were reportedly told, goes against a company policy that states that employees first need to get permission before speaking to the media on any matter regarding the SABC, whether positive or negative.
On 27th June, eNCA published a video in which Calata speaks on “censorship” at the SABC and his views on the resignation of former acting CEO, Jimi Matthews.
du Boisson says that any such condition will be hard to uphold. “This goes against the constitutional right to freedom of speech and and whatever rules the SABC has against employees speaking to the media are draconian,” du Buisson said.
BEMAWU is currently working as quick as possible on the process of preparing papers to apply to the Labour Court to serve the SABC with an interdict to reverse the dismissals.
BEMAWU, along with Calata and Ntuli, may end up at the Labour Court on Thursday, the same day Solidarity approaches the court to apply for a similar interdict to overturn the dismissals of Foeta Krige, Suna Venter, Jacques Steenkamp and Krivani Pillay.
Should it not make it on time to approach the court on Thursday, BEMAWU may go on Friday, or Monday at the latest.
du Buisson said BEMAWU also wants access to the Constitutional Court to challenge the protest footage ban and the original suspension to have them ruled as unconstitutional.