Freelance journalist Vuyo Mvoko on Friday won his case in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) against the SABC‚ which terminated his contract after he and seven others spoke out against the public broadcaster’s interference in editorial independence.
The court ordered that the SABC pay for the legal costs Mvoko.
Seven journalists – Thandeka Gqubule‚ Suna Venter (who died)‚ Foeta Krige‚ Busisiwe Ntuli‚ Jacques Steenkamp‚ Lukhanyo Calata and Krivani Pillay – won their case against the SABC and were reinstated. They were dismissed for opposing the ban on covering violent protests‚ imposed during Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s rule.
But Mvoko‚ who had a three-year contract as a contributing editor‚ was not.
The Centre for Constitutional Rights said on Friday it welcomed the SCA’s decision.
“The decision makes it apparent that the public broadcaster is bound by constitutional considerations”‚ which states that public services must be provided impartially‚ fairly‚ equitably and without bias‚ the centre said.
It also emphasised the Broadcasting Act which states that the SABC belongs to South Africans and so must be free of political interference.