Hlaudi Motsoeneng.   Picture: SOWETAN
Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: SOWETAN

THE South African Communist Party (SACP) has vowed to keep campaigning against the SABC and its chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, until senior political anchor Vuyo Mvoko is allowed to return to work.

Mvoko was one of eight journalists who lost their jobs for objecting to the ban on the airing of footage of protests in which public property was damaged. Following court action, seven other dismissed employees were reinstated on Wednesday.

However, negotiations between the SABC and Mvoko on his return to work broke down on Thursday when he refused to retract his public criticism of the lack of editorial independence at the public broadcaster.

"Mvoko’s case is complicated by the fact that he works for the SABC on a contract, rather than as a full-time employee. The dictatorial regime at the SABC is attempting to use this technicality to keep Mvoko off air," the SACP said.

READ THIS: Talks between SABC and Vuyo Mvoko break down

"But Mvoko is the most senior of the SABC 8 editorially, and has been the most public in exposing the rampant censorship the unlawfully appointed Motsoeneng and his gang of self-promoting loyalists have imposed on the SABC."

The party praised the eight journalists for standing up against "illegal, unconstitutional and antidemocratic" decisions taken at the SABC, but said it would not stop campaigning against the broadcaster until Mvoko was reinstated.

It also urged all employees and their organisations at the SABC to take action and compel Motsoeneng, executive directors at the SABC and the board to be held personally liable for the "millions of rand of public funds thrown into the gutter in the SABC’s vain courtroom attempts".

The public broadcaster has had to fight numerous court battles following the ban of the protest footage. However, even before this, Motsoeneng took to court to stay in his job after the public protector’s findings that he lied about his qualifications.

"They must be forced to repay those millions to the SABC," the SACP said.

With Franny Rabkin