The dismissal of five more journalists by Gupta TV news channel ANN7 had editors up in arms.
The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) condemned the axing of the journalist who they say participated in protests. The protests were carried out in the interest of nine colleagues who were fired in June.
“The first group that was dismissed was part of a larger pool of employees that had objected to being named as parties to a company letter to the four banks that had revoked banking services to the television station’s owners‚ Oakbay Holdings.
“They also resisted attending a meeting which was to be addressed by ANC Youth League president Collen Maine. They felt it inappropriate that an attempt was being made to drag them into the company’s corporate affairs and political battles.”
See: Update: All Eight Suspended SABC Journalists Have Been Fired
Sanef also added that firings followed a series of well-documented and unfortunate episodes at the SABC. The state broadcaster suspended and Subsequently sacked journalists who challenged its censorship.
Meanwhile, Sanef made it clear that: “The clear line between corporate and editorial is sacrosanct and should always be respected by both parties. Journalists should also understand that they need to remain impartial and refrain from taking political sides to protect their credibility.
“Following the continued onslaught on journalists‚ Sanef wishes to express its concern with what appears to be a continued trend by some media houses to violate media freedoms and contravene labour laws.”
Thus, Sanef declared a state of emergency on the issue which it said needs to be addressed urgently. To address the matter, the body will request a meeting with editor-in-chief of Gupta TV news channel ANN7, Moegsien Williams.
Meanwhile, Williams has not said anything regarding the matter.