4 sacked SABC journalists still willing to return - union

Solidarity said the four are still willing to return to the SABC despite the hostile environment there.

The Labour Court will has heard the case by four former SABC employees who want their dismissal reversed. Picture: Dineo Bendile/EWN

JOHANNEBSURG - A trade union representing four sacked South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) journalists says they are still willing to return to the broadcaster, despite what they have described as a hostile environment at the corporation.

Jacques Steenkamp, Krivani Pillay, Suna Venter and Foeta Krige, were dismissed after speaking out against the SABC's decision to ban visuals of destructive protests.

The SABC has since done an about turn and rescinded its decision, in line with a ruling by communications regulator Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

Lawyers defending the journalists have argued that it's contradictory for the SABC to concede that its protest policy is unlawful but uphold the dismissal of the reporters who had called for the decision to be rescinded.

Solidarity's Anton Van Der Bijl said the journalists are still willing to go back to the national broadcaster despite the current hostile environment.

"There's a lot to contribute to the SABC and they want to make a difference, so they want to help there and we just need to monitor to see what happens when they go back."

The union has also called for COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng to be held personally liable for the journalists' legal costs.