Let's stand in unflinching solidarity with SABC 8 – COPE

Party says South Africans should be proud of fired journalists as they put their jobs on the line so that freedom of expression could prevail

Let's stand in unflinching solidarity with SABC 8

19 July 2016

Congress of the People (COPE) condemns and denounces in the strongest terms the repulsive and unjustifiable action of the SABC in firing the SABC 8. It is presently an illegitimate institution overseen by an illegitimate COO. In no way or manner is it a bona fide public broadcaster steeped in the ethos of our Constitution.

Today, we and the whole country wait to see the reaction of COSATU. Is it still true to its mandate or has it unashamedly prostituted itself to Mr Zuma? That is the question we ask today.

Furthermore, COPE calls on all freedom loving South Africans to recognise that this is a watershed moment. If we do not act in solidarity with the SABC 8, our children will inherit a South Africa that will be stolen by a conglomerate of petty tyrannical dictators.

South Africans should be very proud of Vuyo Mvoko‚ Thandeka Gqubule‚ Busisiwe Ntuli, Lukhanyo Calata, Krivani Pillay‚ Jacques Steenkamp‚ Foeta Krige and Suna Venter. They put their jobs on the line so that freedom of expression could prevail untrammelled in our country. Fearless journalists are a boon to society and guardians of democracy. We must cherish them and protect them with all our strength.

While these brave and distinguished journalists take their case to the Labour Court and to the Constitutional Court to have their charges declared unlawful, COPE urges South Africans to withhold their licence fees and to punish the ANC very severely at the polls. Their utterly stupid policy of cadre deployment is at the root of our failure as a country.

Ahmed Kathrada and former President Motlanthe should also not place the destructive ANC above our national interest. A wide scale rejection of the ANC at the polls is the bitter medicine that the ruling party has to take for South Africa to be healed.

Furthermore, COPE urges every advertiser to cancel with the SABC with immediate effect. Their failure to act appropriately will signify that they place no premium on freedom of expression and the rule of law. The SABC of today is an illegitimate institution presided over by an illegitimate COO. Let us punish the SABC, Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Mr Zuma as severely as we can so that we secure our democracy for ourselves and our children.

Motsoeneng must fall and the ANC must take a severe beating at the polls for the predicament it has put South Africa into.

Issued by Dennis Bloem, COPE Spokesperson, 19 July 2016