‘SABC 8 need police protection after death threats’

Reports that the so-called SABC 8 continue to be subjected to intimidation and death threats are cause for serious concern‚ the DA said.

According to media reports‚ the eight outspoken journalists are living in fear following a series of sinister incidents and death threats aimed at forcing them to drop their court action against the public broadcaster.

In September‚ the SABC 8 advised the Constitutional Court that they intend persisting with their court action because a culture of censorship and fear in the SABC’s newsrooms persists‚ despite their reinstatement after being suspended for speaking up against alleged SABC censorship.

“It is quite clear that high-powered individuals with interest in the outcome of the court case are behind the death threat,” DA spokeswoman Phumzile van Damme said.

“As such‚ the DA will be writing to the acting national police commissioner‚ Khomotso Phahlane, requesting that the SABC 8 be given police protection until the court case is finalised.”

Van Damme said when the ad hoc committee on the SABC met for the first time tomorrow, the DA would insist that the parliamentary inquiry into the SABC still take place this year.

“Parliament cannot go into recess with such serious issues unresolved,” Van Damme said.

“We will also continue with our court action to have Hlaudi Motsoeneng removed from the SABC.”

Motsoeneng is the controversial former chief operating officer of the SABC who was reappointed as a general executive.

Van Damme said it was a sad day when journalists were intimidated for fighting for the constitutional right to report the news without fear and intimidation.

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