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Legalbrief   |   your legal news hub Monday 24 January 2022

More journalists sacked by SABC

The SABC, which continues to resist an order from the broadcasting regulator to reverse its ban on showing footage of violent service delivery protests (see report below), has fired three more journalists – Busisiwe Ntuli, a specialist producer for the investigative programme Special Assignment, Lukhanyo Calata, a SABC journalist in Cape Town, and economics editor Thandeka Gqubule, notes Legalbrief. According to a News24 report, this brings to seven the number of journalists sacked by the public broadcaster since Monday when Foeta Krige, Suna Venter, Krivani Pillay and Jacques Steenkamp were informed of their axing. Freelance journalist Vuyo Mvoko's contract with the corporation was terminated earlier this month. Their lawyer reportedly told News24 that they would fight their dismissals at the highest court. The journalists form part of the so-called SABC 8 who have been targeted by the public broadcaster for speaking out against censorship. The issue has brought the resignation of another senior journalist. Ivor Price‚ TV news anchor on SABC2 and presenter and producer with Afrikaans radio station RSG‚ announced his resignation on Twitter. A BDlive report notes he handed in his resignation on 30 June‚ the day when journalists protested outside the SABC’s offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town – having already accepted another job offer. ‘(SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi) Motsoeneng’s venomous tentacles have the entire public broadcaster in their grip‚’ he said. ‘Even if he resigns tomorrow or is fired‚ it will be a long time before good journalists will get over the incapacitating fear.’ When he saw the news of his colleagues being dismissed this week‚ he ‘could no longer remain silent’. The issue of the sacking of the journalists is expected to come before the Labour Court tomorrow.