SABC Moves To Appeal Labour Court Ruling Over SABC4

Not long after the Labour Court in Johannesburg ordered the reinstatement of the SABC4 dismissed journalists, the state broadcaster issued a letter refusing to take them back claiming they would appeal the case in court while the four remained out.

Labour Court Judge Robert la Grange ruled on Tuesday that Foeta Krige‚ Suna Venter‚ Krivani Pillay and Jacques Steenkamp who were part of the part of the “#SABC8”, were unlawfully dismissed and ruled they could return to work.

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The court ordered their reinstatement following a request by Trade union Solidarity and advocate for the four, to set aside their dismissal notices on the basis that the dismissals were unlawful and that the SABC4 were bullied by the broadcaster

The court ruled on this and said that they could return to work. It also interdicted the SABC from proceeding with any further disciplinary action against the journalists.

However, Solidarity, which represented the dismissed journalists, revealed on Wednesday morning that the SABC intends to appeal the ruling.

The union’s Dirk Hermann tweeted a copy of a lawyer’s letter declaring the intention of the broadcaster. The letter also makes clear that the SABC4 “may not report for duty pending the outcome of the appeal”.

“In the premise please be advised that your client may not report for duty pending the outcome of the appeal‚” said the letter as signed by Ningiza Horner.

Themba Skosana SC‚ for the SABC‚ had said that there was a contract of employment which prohibited certain conduct by employees. He said the journalists had breached those conditions.

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Now the legal battle will be intensified as the union insisted on lodging an urgent legal bid to force the broadcaster to let the journalists return to work‚ pending the appeal.

“Solidarity disappointed in SABC’s ongoing efforts to continue their unlawful actions. They show lack of moral integrity‚” said the Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann

The remaining journalists are still fighting their dismissal, while all have applied for direct access to the Constitutional Court on the matter.

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