SABC journalists get death threats for taking broadcaster to court

SABC journalists fear for their lives after receiving threats and harassment following their decision to take the broadcaster to the Constitutional Court.

According to a report by the Sunday Times, journalists Foeta Krige and Suna Venter were told to “leave town” after receiving a threatening text message and a break-in at Venter’s house.

Krige and Venter are among the “SABC 8” who applied to the court to have the broadcaster’s policy of not airing protest footage declared unconstitutional.

Staff at the SABC’s Polokwane office have also received threats, reportedly due to putting forward negative stories about Venda King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana.

Threats

The pair have received “a string of threatening SMS messages” over the past few weeks, stated the report.

They said the threats started after a parliamentary portfolio committee meeting with the broadcaster’s executives in August, where they were called liars and traitors.

It is also suspected that their communications with the SABC are being intercepted and leaked to those perpetrating the intimidation, stated the report.

“The SABC 8 say that although the broadcaster accepts that its protest policy is unlawful, the SABC and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi continue to defend it,” said the Sunday Times.

“The culture of censorship at the SABC continues, the culture of fear in the newsroom persists,” said the journalists’ lawyers.

The full report is in the Sunday Times of 18 September 2016.

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SABC journalists get death threats for taking broadcaster to court