Picketers call for SABC suspensions to be reversed

Employees will face disciplinary hearings, should Icasa’s decision fail to effect any change at the SABC.

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

JOHANNESBURG - As seven South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) staff members face disciplinary hearings tomorrow, picketers are hoping that a ruling by Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on the broadcaster's decision to ban the broadcasting of violent protests will see a reversal of charges against the employees.

Officials from the communications authority are still deliberating on whether the broadcaster's latest editorial changes are in line with its code of conduct.

A small group of protesters are still gathered outside the Icasa offices awaiting the final verdict.

Zwelinzima Vavi says if today's ruling is favourable, and will hopefully also see the reinstatement of the suspended SABC employees.

"It goes without saying that the journalists will go back to their jobs, because they were all suspended for resisting a new policy that nobody knows."

A picket for media freedom outside the communications authority's offices has been bolstered by Icasa's own employees, who are currently on strike over a salary dispute.

The suspended employees will face disciplinary hearings tomorrow, should Icasa's decision fail to effect any change at the public broadcaster.