South Africans, free speech advocates raise over R320k for sacked #SABC8 journalists

Journalists and free speech advocates protested against censorship at the public broadcaster outside the SABC headquarters in Johannesburg on July 1. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Journalists and free speech advocates protested against censorship at the public broadcaster outside the SABC headquarters in Johannesburg on July 1. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Over R322 000 has been raised to assist the #SABC8 in the days to come as they challenge their dismissals after they objected to censorial editorial policies at the SABC.

South African journalists, politicians, citizens and freedom of speech advocates came out in support of the now former SABC journalists on Tuesday, who are referred to as the #SABC8 on social media.

Read more: South Africans, civil society rally around the #SABC8 journalists sacked this week

The fundraising initiative was started by News24 editor Adriaan Basson on Tuesday, July 19. Basson is also the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) media freedom chair.

By 7.15pm on Wednesday at least $22 399 (over R322 000) had been donated by 347 people in a day – almost four times the $6000 organisers were hoping to fundraise for the #SABC8.

To donate to the #SABC8, go here: Friends of SABC journalists

On Tuesday, the SABC fired Busisiwe Ntuli, a specialist producer for investigative programme Special Assignment, and Lukhanyo Calata, an SABC journalist in Cape Town. Economics editor Thandeka Gqubule confirmed later that she had also been sacked.

Four others - Foeta Krige, Suna Venter, Krivani Pillay and Jacques Steenkamp - were informed of their axing on Monday.

The eighth person dismissed was freelance journalist Vuyo Mvoko, whose contract was terminated.

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