ANN7 editor-in-chief Moegsien Williams. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Moegsien Williams. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

EDITORS have hit out at the dismissal of another five journalists by Gupta-owned TV news channel ANN7.

The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) said the five, sacked on Tuesday, took part in protests about the firing of nine colleagues in June.

"The first group that was dismissed was part of a larger pool of employees who had objected to being named as parties to a company letter to the four banks that had revoked banking services to the television station’s owners‚ Oakbay Holdings‚" said a Sanef statement on Wednesday.

"They also resisted attending a meeting which was to be addressed by ANC Youth League president Collen Maine.

"They felt it inappropriate that an attempt was being made to drag them into the company’s corporate affairs and political battles."

Sanef condemned the firings‚ which it said followed "a series of well-documented and unfortunate episodes at the SABC which saw journalists who challenged censorship at the public broadcaster being victimised".

Its statement said: "The clear line between corporate and editorial is sacrosanct and should always be respected by both parties. Journalists should also understand that they need to remain impartial and refrain from taking political sides to protect their credibility.

"Following the continued onslaught on journalists‚ Sanef wishes to express its concern with what appears to be a continued trend by some media houses to violate media freedoms and contravene labour laws.

"We believe this needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency and Sanef will request a meeting with ANN7’s editor-in-chief‚ Moegsien Williams."

Williams did not answer his phone on Wednesday.

TMG Digital