South Africans' generosity towards sacked SABC journalists exceeds target, tops R100‚000

19 July 2016 - 21:59 By TMG Digital

A $1‚000 anonymous donation from one person added to the generosity of 162 others has raised over R100‚000 ($7‚133) for eight “brave South African journalists who lost their jobs for standing up for media freedom”. The amount‚ raised in just nine hours‚ is more than the organisers had hoped - working out to 119% of the original $6‚000 goal. Thandeka Gqubule‚ Foeta Krige‚ Lukhanyo Calata‚ Suna Venter‚ Busisiwe Ntuli‚ Krivani Pillay‚ Vuyo Mvoko and Jacques Steenkamp are jobless after being fired by the SABC. “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‚” New24 editor Adriaan Basson wrote on as he launched the crowdfunding campaign.“This is a call to 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.”The fund was sitting just shy of $1000 just two hours after it was set up.After seven hours‚ and donations in amounts like $10 and $50‚ the appeal had raised $5‚847 (R84‚196) from 124 people.Trevor‚ who donated $50‚ posted: “It's a damn shame‚ our freedom dream is fading”‚ while Mthimkulum21‚ who gave $25‚ shared: “As the saying goes‚ All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.”The journalists had spoken out against a decision by the public broadcaster’s chief operating officer‚ Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ to ban news coverage of violent protests.Attorney Willem de Klerk has agreed to distribute the funds raised through his firm's trust account at the end of July‚ Basson said. The money will be divided equally.

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