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Citizens, media groups vow to keep protesting against SABC censorship

Today, dozens of people gathered outside the SABC building in Auckland Park.

Journalists and people from the media industry gathered outside the SABC in Auckland Park, dressed in black, in support of the national broadcaster's journalists who were suspended for raising concerns about policy changes. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Civil society organisations, media groups and individuals have vowed to keep protesting against censorship at the South African Broadcasting Corporation(SABC) and are calling on Hlaudi Motsoeneng to resign.

Today, dozens of people gathered outside the SABC building in Auckland Park.

Many wore black clothing with tape over their mouths, vowing to continue the fight for media freedom.

Veteran journalist Karima Brown says it's time to take a stand.

"We cannot allow the SABC to be used as a pawn in political fights of the governing party or any other political formation or interest group for that matter."

The Media Workers Association of South Africa's Tuwani Gumani says this is an issue that affects all South Africans.

"What we are fighting for here is a little symptom where journalists have been dismissed; the sickness, the malice is much deeper than that and it is a matter all South Africans must take very seriously."

WATCH: Suspended journalists turn to Constitutional Court

PRESSURE

The SABC management has come up against opposition from the media industry and civil society for cracking down on journalists who speak up about censorship at the broadcaster.

Three senior journalists, who have raised concerns about a climate of fear in their newsrooms, have been charged internally, while three others have been suspended for going against a decision not to cover a protest.

SABC journalist Lukhanyo Calata was among those who demonstrated outside SABC's Sea Point offices.

"Instead of the SABC really trying to address the problem, they are making it worse by suspending people."

Calata said staff at the public broadcaster should not be suspended for speaking out about censorship.

He said journalists should be free to raise issues in the newsroom.

"The contracts that we have with the SABC are for us to question things; to question presidents, ministers, the government, the CEOs of companies and all kinds of things; but as soon as we [start] questioning what happens within our own institution, then we get suspended. How does that work?"

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