Vuyo Mvoko. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI
Vuyo Mvoko. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI

SENIOR political anchor at the SABC Vuyo Mvoko will be appealing to the Supreme Court of Appeal over the SABC’s decision not to put him on air, his lawyers said on Monday.

Mvoko was one of eight SABC journalists who lost their jobs for criticising the public broadcaster’s decision not to air footage of violent protests where public property was attacked. The other seven, who were employees, were reinstated after court action. But Mvoko, hired in terms of an independent contractor agreement, remains out in the cold.

On Friday, the High Court in Johannesburg dismissed his application to have the SABC’s conduct declared unconstitutional and to force it to reinstate him.

The court is still to give reasons for its decision. However, during the hearing Judge Fritz van Oosten closely questioned Mvoko’s counsel, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, on whether the court action was premature, given that the SABC was still investigating Mvoko’s conduct.

During the hearing, the judge said: "How can I interfere in a matter that is still pending in an investigation by the SABC?" He also remarked that the arguments made before court by Ngcukaitobi had not been made by Mvoko in his submissions to the SABC.

Van Oosten ordered that all the court papers in the case must "form part of" Mvoko’s written representations to the SABC, and that the public broadcaster must consider them in its investigation.