The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) won’t cease to amaze South Africans as the public broadcaster continues to make headlines each day.
BuzzSouthAfrica has gathered that the SABC on Thursday dished suspension letters to three employees for voicing their anger against SABC’s decision not to air Right2Know (R2K) campaign’s protest against censorship at the public broadcaster on Monday.
Recall that R2K organized a peaceful protest outside and had demanded the removal of SABC Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
Not only that, the organization also called on the public broadcaster to terminate its self-censorship and further enjoined the public broadcaster to withdraw its revised editorial policy which‚ according to R2K’s Reddy‚ gives Motsoeneng‚ the sole authority to detect which news comes on air and not.
Kaizer Kganyago, SABC spokesperson who confirmed the suspension declined to comment further on the development. He rather stated thus: “It is an employer-employee issue and we are handling it as such. We do not want to engage in the public space, it is not fair to them and it is not fair to us.”
However, reports say no reason was stated for the employees indefinite suspension. The three employees include: economics editor Thandeka Gqubule, RSG executive producer Foeta Krige and Afrikaans news producer Suna Venter.
The suspension letters further informed the trio that the matter would be investigated.
Meanwhile, the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has condemned the suspension of the three SABC employees. The organization therefore called on SABC to lift the suspensions.
“Sanef urges the SABC to immediately lift the suspensions of these journalists. Journalists in a constitutional democracy have a right to express themselves freely,” Sanef said.
It further promised to write to the SABC to insist that it must respect the rights to freedom of thought and expression of journalists.
SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been under fire following his decision last month not to show footage of violent protests. The criticism against Motsoeneng got intensified this week after footage of Tshwane violent was not aired on the SABC.
Meanwhile, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has gone back to court to prove that Motsoeneng is still the best man to run the SABC. This was after she filed an application for leave to appeal against a Cape Town High Court ruling that nullified Motsoeneng’s appointment.
She alleged in court papers that the high court made “a number of errors of fact”, and wants the Supreme Court of Appeal to overturn the ruling.