Activists urge caution on celebrating SABC journalists' reinstatement

Media Monitoring Africa says the decision doesn’t mean SABC managers are going to change.

file: From left: Jacques Steenkamp, Foeta Krige, Krivani Pillay and Suna Venter smile after a Labour Court ruling in their favour. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Organisations campaigning for change at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) say it's too early to celebrate after the corporation said yesterday it would reinstate seven journalists fired for objecting to its new policy of banning the broadcast of images of destructive protests.

The policy was overturned by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa and through a High Court settlement.

Media Monitoring Africa's William Bird says this decision doesn't mean Hlaudi Motsoeneng and other managers are going to change.

"It is probably a response that they don't want to end up in the Constitutional Court than it is about them realising that what they were doing was wrong."

Meanwhile, the South African Communist Party's Alex Mashilo says the SABC had no choice because their actions were unconstitutional.

Yesterday it also emerged the SABC reinstated the journalists after trade union Solidarity demanded to know who at the SABC had made the decision to appeal the Labour Court ruling.