Adriaan Basson, Assistant editor at Netwerk24 says he is shocked by the recent firing of journalists at the SABC, because they haven't yet faced disciplinary hearings.
The SABC reportedly fired seven of its journalists and suspended one, for speaking up against its editorial policies. Among those who received termination letters is the popular parliamentary reporter Lukhanyo Calata, Busisiwe Ntuli, Krivani Pillay, Voeta Krige, Suna Venter, Thandeka Gqubule and Jacques Steenkamp.
One is not dealing with a logical, rational person and organisation at this stage unfortunately. It is sincerely dark times for colleagues at the public broadcaster.— Adriaan Basson, Editor-in-Chief at Netwerk24
Basson says there's a lot of history in the people who have been fired. Voeta Krige has been with the SABC for many years and Thandeka Gqubule worked for the SABC for more 20 years.
'Friends for SABC Journalists' was formed soon after the news of the axing reached Basson. He says he called a few friends in the industry because he is worried about how the SABC 8, as they have become known on social media, will pay the bills.
I thought let's try and ask colleagues and journalists if they can donate a bit of money and see if we can get something to them before month end so that they could at least pay their bills at the end of July.— Adriaan Basson, Editor-in-Chief at Netwerk24
Basson says the money is currently seating at $4000. The money has been donated by other journalists as well as ordinary South Africans who want to help and can be found on generosity.com.
Listen to the full conversation below: