Call to raise funds for fired SABC journalists

19 July 2016 - 14:32 By TMG Digital

An attorney has made his firm's trust account available to raise funds for the “four brave South African journalists who lost their jobs on Mandela Day for standing up for media freedom and telling the truth”.New24 editor Adriaan Basson made the call on Tuesday‚ a day after it emerged that “Foeta Krige‚ Suna Venter‚ Krivani Pillay and Jacques Steenkamp are jobless after being fired by the SABC”.Trade union Solidarity said the four were notified by email late on Monday afternoon that they had been dismissed.The reason given for their dismissals was that they had failed to comply with SABC policy. They had been suspended after speaking out against a decision by the public broadcaster’s chief operating officer‚ Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ to ban news coverage of violent protests.Basson‚ posting on www.generosity.com‚ said: “Yes‚ we can protest and issue statements and write columns in their support‚ but at month-end they have to pay bills‚ probably with half a month's salary if they are lucky. Some of them have kids.”The fund was sitting just shy of $1000 just two hours after it was set up.Basson said that call was aimed at “all who value media freedom and deeply care about the state of journalism in South Africa to crowd source some money for them‚ just to see them through the worst few weeks of their professional lives”.“Donate anything‚ however small‚ to help them and show them our unwavering support.”Basson said attorney Willem de Klerk “has kindly agreed to distribute the funds raised through his firm's trust account at the end of July”.Krige‚ Venter‚ Pillay and Steenkamp are half of the “SABC 8”‚ who last week filed an urgent application to the Constitutional Court to have their charges declared unlawful and Solidarity is to apply to the Labour Court on Thursday for an urgent interdict to have their suspensions set aside.The Democratic Alliance on Tuesday picketed outside Parliament on Tuesday to demand the reinstatement of all eight journalists. TMG Digital

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