It will be an attempt at second time lucky for four fired SABC journalists when they try to return to work on Thursday, after the broadcaster refused to let them back in on Wednesday.
The SABC on Wednesday morning said it would appeal the Labour Court’s order that it had to reinstate the four and would not allow them back into its offices.
The broadcaster however backtracked later on Wednesday, after trade union Solidarity threatened more legal action unless Foeta Krige, Suna Venter, Krivani Pillay, and Jacques Steenkamp were allowed to report for duty.
The SABC responded in writing that the journalists could return on Thursday morning. It said it would “not proceed with further legal action” and reinstate all seven of the journalists it fired.
The three other SABC journalists who were recently fired, Busisiwe Ntuli, Thandeka Gqubule and Lukhanyo Calata, would argue their cases in the Labour Court on Thursday. However, the SABC said they would also be allowed back into their offices and called on them to drop their court case.
Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said they were disappointed that they had to threaten court action to ensure the SABC complied with Tuesday’s Labour Court ruling.
Freelance reporter Vuyo Mvoku filed papers in the High Court in Johannesburg on Friday, asking for an order that the SABC’s decision not to “schedule” him constituted a breach of contract.
All eight had applied for direct access to the Constitutional Court to challenge the SABC’s decision to censor coverage of protests.