Axing of 7 SABC journalists deplorable, says R2K

Four of the journalists have already confirmed they're going to the Labour Court on Thursday.

FILE: Right2Know campaigners demostrate outside SABC's building in Cape Town. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Right2Know Campaign says it's deplorable that the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has fired at least seven senior journalists for speaking out about controversial editorial policies.

Four of the journalists were axed yesterday, three more received their termination letters this morning, while the eighth, Vuyo Mvoko, has received no communication but has worked for the SABC as an independent contractor.

Four of the journalists have already confirmed they're going to the Labour Court on Thursday.

The Right2Know Campaign's Micah Reddy says the situation at the corporation is worsening with an increased climate of fear.

"It's deplorable what has happened but at the same time not all together unsurprising given the way COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng and his enforcers have been managing, or rather mismanaging, the SABC lately. There is a climate of fear and intimidation."

Meanwhile, as civil society groups challenge the SABC's decision to fire seven of the eight journalists.

Constitutional organisation Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) says Parliament is failing in its duty over the SABC.

The organisation has formally written to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete asking her to recall Parliament so it can exercise its constitutional mandate of oversight of the SABC.

But it says it's received no reply to that letter.

Casac's Lawson Naidoo, says "We know that Parliament is in recess and not due to return until August. But this certain issue of absolute national emergency for which Parliament should be reconvened urgently."

The fallout was sparked by a decision to stop showing footage of state property being destroyed during protests a decision widely seen as censorship.