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SABC withdraws appeal, 7 of 8 axed journalists reinstated

They were axed after opposing a policy banning the broadcast of images of violent & destructive protests.

A sign outside the offices of the South African Broadcasting Corporation in Johannesburg. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Seven of the eight journalists fired form the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have now been reinstated.

The group were fired after publicly opposing a policy banning the broadcast of images of violent and destructive protests.

That ban was overturned by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

This morning, four journalists who won a Labour Court ruling overturning their sacking were denied entry to their offices.

Solidarity said the SABC was appealing the latest ruling and had notified the reporters.

LISTEN: EWN's Masego Rahlaga on SABC to appeal labour court order

Also this afternoon, Right2Know activists staged a sit in at the SABC's Auckland Park headquarters before being detained.

They've now been released.

The R2K's Micah Reddy says they're not worried by the fact the SABC's headquarters is a national key point.

"The national key point's law is an outdated piece of apartheid legislation and should be challenged by the court so we welcome the opportunity to challenge it."

Yesterday, the Labour Court ruled in favour of Jacques Steenkamp, Krivani Pillay, Suna Venter and Foeta Krige ordering that they be reinstated with immediate effect.

The court found the SABC acted unlawfully when it dismissed the senior reporters for voicing their concerns over the public broadcaster's controversial editorial policy.

In total, eight SABC journalists were dismissed for raising concerns over the corporation's decision not to broadcast visuals of protests.

Those responsible for the dismissals have until next Tuesday (2 August) to submit written affidavits explaining why they shouldn't be held personally liable for the legal fees.

Trade union Solidarity says this afternoon's announcement by the SABC is a victory for the freedom of speech.

Solidarity's Dirk Hermann says "We are overwhelmed. The fact of the matter is we see it as a victory. A final victory for principles of freedom of speech, the public's right to know and also the limitations of the power of the executive."

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