NUMSA supports SABC sacked journalists

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) declares its revolutionary solidarity with the eight sacked SABC journalists and demands their immediate and unconditional reinstatement.
These workers – Busisiwe Ntuli, Lukhanyo Calata, Thandeka Gqubule, Foeta Krige, Suna Venter, Krivani Pillay, Jacques Steenkamp and Vuyo Mvoko (whose contract was not renewed) – were not dismissed for ‘disciplinary’ offences but for defending the right of the South Africans to receive accurate reports on what is happening in the country and opposing censorship and biased reporting in favour of government and business interests.
For millions of poor South Africans, in rural areas in particular, the SABC is the main or even sole source of news and information. It is their democratic right to know that that news and information truly reflects what is happening in the country, and not just what the government and ruling party think are ‘good stories to tell’.
Hiding images of violent protests and banning the showing of newspaper headlines is a crude attempt to fool the viewers and listeners into believing that all is well in the country under the benign rule of the ANC. It is taking us dangerously close to the creation of a state propaganda service which is used to keep the majority in line.
The union also deplores the atmosphere of intimidation and threats which is reported to prevail within the public broadcaster. Media workers have the same rights as all employees to be treated with respect and free from such attacks; and the SABC must not be allowed to exploit their fears of losing their job to bully them into submitting to Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s dictatorship.
Numsa welcomes the SABC’s, albeit reluctant, acceptance of the ruling by ICASA to end its censorship policies but renews its call for the immediate implementation of the sanctions called for by the Public Protector in ‘When Governance and Ethics Fail’, which found that SABC COO Motsoeneng had misrepresented his qualifications, abused power and improperly made appointments and salary increments.
Patrick Craven
Acting Numsa Spokesperson
083 376 7725