In a developing story,  Four of the eight SABC  journalists suspended for challenging the public broadcaster’s censorship have been reportedly fired.

This was confirmed on Monday evening by the trade union Solidarity which is representing the journalists.

The four journalists – Foeta Krige‚ Suna Venter‚ Jacques Steenkamp and Krivani Pillay – were notified by email late this afternoon that they had been dismissed‚ Solidarity spokesman Anton van der Bilj told TMG Digital.

He said the reason given for their dismissal was essentially that they had failed to comply with SABC policy.

The eight journalists‚ who have been facing disciplinary action‚ last week filed an urgent application to the Constitutional Court to have their charges declared unlawful and Solidarity is to apply to the Labour Court on Thursday for an urgent interdict to have their suspensions set aside.

The senior journalists were suspended after speaking out against a decision by the public broadcaster’s chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng to ban news coverage of violent protests.

SABC Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng
SABC Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng

Earlier this month‚ the Independent Communications Authority of South African (Icasa) ordered the SABC to reverse its decision to ban footage of destructive protests.

The other four journalists suspended were Thandeka Gqubule‚ Busisiwe Ntuli‚ Lukhanyo Calata and Vuyo Mvoko. News of the dismissal of the four journalists came as the SABC issued a statement saying to would like to put it on record that it was still engaging the Compliance and Complaints Committee (CCC) of ICASA over its recommendations and whether these recommendations had been properly endorsed by the ICASA Council‚ as it was a requirement in law.

People were quick to take to the social media to condemn the journalists’ dismissal.

Well known media personality Yusuf Abramjee said on Twitter: The #SABC has fired four of the 8 suspended journalists despite them going to the Constitutional Court. This is ridiculous.”

Dawie Boonzaaier @dawiboon tweeted: “At a loss for words.”

“This is so UNFAIR hey‚” tweeted Ancient Azania @MalengaMaluleke.

Source: Times Live