Disciplinary hearings for SABC journalists postponed

Journalists & union members gathered outside the SABC’s offices in Cape Town & Johannesburg.

The three suspended SABC journalists - from left Foeta Krige, Thandeka Gqubule & Suna Venter. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The disciplinary hearings of three South African Broadcasting Corporation(SABC) journalists have been postponed to next week, while others have been stopped from joining today's protest outside the public broadcaster's offices in Auckland Park.

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Journalists and union members today gathered outside the SABC's offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg, calling for an end to censorship and COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng's resignation.

Motsoeneng says there's neither a crisis nor a revolt at the national broadcaster, but he's warned that action will be taken against employees who don't adhere to policy.

Krivani Pillay, Jacques Steenkamp and Busi Ntuli have joined the protests outside the SABC's offices in Johannesburg.

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They've confirmed their disciplinary hearings have been postponed.

They haven't been suspended but they have been given a notice of suspension for writing a letter to Motsoeneng, raising concerns about controversial editorial changes at the national broadcaster.

Former Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is also in attendance to support the journalists.

"We are here to rally behind all of their demands, including the demand for fair working conditions, so that they can do their work as professionals without any interference from their boss who clearly does not qualify to occupy this building."

The group is now making their way to Constitution Hill, while a few representatives have managed to gain access to the SABC building to meet with Motsoeneng.


Meanwhile, the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) says SABC journalists have the full support of their colleagues in the media industry.

Sanef's Adrian Basson says the demonstration was a show of solidarity.

"When senior editors like Thandeka Gqubule, the economics editor from SABC, is suspended for refusing to not cover a story that she believed was newsworthy and some of her other colleagues as well - that we find deeply disturbing. That is why we went out today."

Pictures by Aletta Harrison/Christa Eybers/EWN.

To read the full letter from the journalists, click here.