An application has been made by trade unions Solidarity and the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) to ask that Motsoeneng be added as a respondent in the two unions’ cost order case against the SABC. The matter will be heard in the Labour Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 28 March.
This follows the Labour Court’s 2016 ruling that the SABC 8 had been unlawfully dismissed. The court also granted – with cost – the applications of both Solidarity and Bemawu, each representing four of the SABC members, that the journalists should be reinstated.
Last year Motsoeneng was kicked out ont he street when the Western High Court ruled that his appointment to head up the SABC was not only unlawful but that he should not hold any position whatsoever at the public broadcaster.
According to Anton van der Bijl, head of Solidarity’s Centre for Fair Labour Practices, the trade unions will argue that although Motsoeneng did not carry out the instruction to fire the SABC8 himself, the de facto decision to dismiss the journalists was carried out by Simon Tebele on Motsoeneng’s instruction. Tebele has already been added as a respondent to the case.
Van der Bijl furthermore explained that the trade unions want to add Motsoeneng to the case to hold him personally liable for the legal costs incurred by the two trade unions.