Solidarity determined to have SABC execs pay journalists' legal bill

The trade union says the 2 executives must pay the legal costs incurred by four SABC journalists.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Trade union Solidarity says it will continue with its application to have two South African Broadcasting Corporation news executives pay for legal bills incurred by four journalists in their legal battle to be reinstated at the broadcaster.

Sebolelo Ditlhakanyane, SABC general manager for radio news and current affairs, and Moloko Tebele, acting group executive of news and current affairs, submitted court papers to the Labour Court in Johannesburg this week, explaining why they should not be held personally liable for legal bills.

But Ditlhakanyane says Tebele was the one who took the decision "pursuant to external legal advice".

Meanwhile, Tebele says he believes he didn't act recklessly or with malice and that at all material times, he thought his actions were legally correct.

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

Solidarity's Anton van der Bijl says: "We will proceed to argue that these individuals and others who may be pointed to at a later stage be held accountable for these costs."

The court is expected to make a decision on this matter on 23 August.