Suspended SABC journalists take their fight to the Constitutional Court

Attorney Aslam Moosajee is representing the eight journalists who have been suspended by the SABC.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Lawyers representing eight journalists suspended by the South African Broadcasting Corporation(SABC) have confirmed to Eyewitness News that they are now taking their case directly to the Constitutional Court.

The eight senior journalists were suspended after questioning the SABC's policy of banning the broadcast of images of violent and destructive protests.

Attorney Aslam Moosajee is representing the eight journalists who have been suspended by the broadcaster.

'We are in the process of launching an urgent application to the Constitutional Court for direct access. The papers have already been emailed to the SABC, the Minister of Communications and various other interested parties."

He also says that as part of this case, judges will have to determine whether the editorial policy now followed by the SABC, that prohibits the broadcast of violent and destructive protests, is actually constitutional.

This could mean that, if judges do decide to hear the case, they could actually strike down the new policy.

At the same time, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers says the corporation's behaviour is a blight and a deep scar on African progress and intellect.

The association has now called on the corporation to immediately comply with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa(Icasa) ruling, that it rescind its editorial policy banning the broadcast of violent and destructive protests.

The organisation also says it's horror-struck by the statements made by the SABC's Chief Operating Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The Law-Society has also called on the broadcaster to obey Icasa's ruling.

It's co-chair, Jan van Rensburg, says many government organisations claim to be following the law.