SABC 8 want ConCourt to order Parliament to probe its decisions on the broadcaster

The Constitutional Court must order Parliament to probe its own decisions around recent events at the public broadcaster, the SABC 8 have said in court papers.

In papers filed on Friday, the eight journalists, who were fired and then rehired by the SABC in September following a lengthy High Court battle, want the National Assembly to institute an inquiry into the various issues plaguing the broadcaster, including their dismissals.

The court papers say the portfolio committee on communications neglected its constitutional duty when it failed to hear the pleas of the journalists to attend a sitting and explain their cases in July.

Rather, it opted to conclude that their issues had been “resolved” following a Labour Court ruling that their dismissals be set aside and a statement from then chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng at a committee meeting in August.

“We submit that the conduct of the portfolio committee in this regard amounts to a patent breach of its constitutional obligations,” the papers read.


“Far from exercising oversight over the SABC and ensuring that the SABC was accountable to it, it proceeded to wash its hands of the issue.”

Waiting for responses 
Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) were also listed as respondents in the papers.

Only the SABC and Mbete had responded, the papers said. Both opposed the application.

They were still waiting for a response from Icasa and portfolio committee chairperson Humphrey Maxegwana.

The SABC came in for criticism in July when it fired Foeta Krige, Suna Venter, Krivani Pillay, Thandeka Gqubule, Busisiwe Ntuli, Lukhanyo Calata, Vuyo Mvoko and Jacques Steenkamp for speaking out against the broadcaster’s policy to not show footage of violent protests.

Seven were reinstated when the Labour Court set aside the dismissal on July 26. Mvoko, who was employed as a freelancer, lost his case against the SABC.

Steenkamp has since resigned from the SABC and will take up a new post in New Zealand in November.

Motsoeneng, meanwhile, was removed as COO in September following a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling that his appointment to that position be set aside, but was reappointed to general executive for corporate affairs this month. – News24

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Paul Herman
Paul Herman works from London. London based Songwriter/Producer. Paul has written songs for Artists like Dido, Emeli Sande, Corinne Bailey Rae, Eminem, Izzy Bizu, Raleigh Ritchie... Paul Herman has over 260 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

Constitutional Court ruling on restructuring dispute is good for employers

A judgment from the apex court empowers employers to change their workers’ contracts — without consultation

The shame of 40 000 missing education certificates

Graduates are being left in the lurch by a higher education department that is simply unable to deliver the crucial certificates proving their qualifications - in some cases dating back to 1992

The living nightmare of environmental activists who protest mine expansion

Last week Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down as activists fight mining company Tendele’s expansions. Community members tell the M&G about the ‘kill lists’ and the dread they live with every day

SA justice delays extradition of paedophile to UK

Efforts to bring Lee Nigel Tucker to justice have spanned 16 years and his alleged victims have waited for 30 years

Does the Expropriation Bill muddy the land question even further?

Land ownership and its equitable distribution has floundered. Changes to a section of the constitution and the expropriation act are now before parliament, but do they offer any solution?

Unions cry foul over SABC dismissal costs and retrenchments

Broadcaster bodies say claims that a recent skills audit is unrelated to retrenchments are ‘irrational’
Advertising

Subscribers only

The shame of 40 000 missing education certificates

Graduates are being left in the lurch by a higher education department that is simply unable to deliver the crucial certificates proving their qualifications - in some cases dating back to 1992

The living nightmare of environmental activists who protest mine expansion

Last week Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down as activists fight mining company Tendele’s expansions. Community members tell the M&G about the ‘kill lists’ and the dread they live with every day

More top stories

‘Battle-tested’ vs ‘kind and fair’ — DA candidates’ last push...

John Steenhuisen and Mbali Ntuli both acknowledged the problems faced by the party over the past year, with each of them offering their own leadership vision.

A Landie icon is born

Replacing one of the most-loved cars in history, the new Defender pulls off the near impossible task of doing almost everything better

NSFW: The tricky business of OnlyFans

In an increasingly digital world, OnlyFans has given online creators a new way to make money on their own terms

Q&A Sessions: ‘Keeping quiet is not an option’ — Charlotte...

More than a decade after a brief stint on the opposition benches, Charlotte Lobe is helping to fly the South African flag as a senior public servant in the department of international relations and co-operation
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday