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Deadline looms for SABC over Labour Court legal costs

Judge Van Niekerk said the journalists should definitely not bear the costs for fighting their dismissals.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Two South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) news executives have until today to submit affidavits to the Labour Court in Johannesburg, explaining why they should not be held personally liable for legal bills incurred by four journalists, who were dismissed from the public broadcaster.

Last week, the court found that the dismissals of Foeta Krige, Krivani Pillay, Suna Veter and Jacques Steenkamp were unlawful and ordered the broadcaster to reinstate them with immediate effect.

As today marks exactly a week after Judge Andre van Niekerk ordered the SABC to reinstate four of its fired journalists, General Manager of Radio News and Current Affairs, Seboleto Ditlhakanane and Acting Group Executive of News and Current Affairs, Moloto Tebele, are expected to submit affidavits explaining why they shouldn't have to pay for the group's legal bill.

Van Niekerk said the journalists should definitely not bear the costs of bringing the matter to court.

The judge also told the court that he is concerned that the dismissals were authorised with reckless disregard, which includes the costs.

The senior journalists were fired after voicing their concern over the broadcaster's policy not to show footage of violent protests.