NEWS

A Case Might Be Opened After An SMS Death Threat Sent To One Of SABC 8

An SMS sent to one of the SABC 8 has caused alarm, with members of the ad hoc committee calling the message "shocking".

14/12/2016 12:05 SAST | Updated 14/12/2016 12:22 SAST
Mike Hutchings / Reuters

"TRAITORS. PROTETING UR WHITE FRIENDS IN PARLIAMENT WHO STARTED THIS. TELLING LIES ABT UR CDES. U WERE WARN. WE WERE WARN. WE DONT KILL BLACKS. BUT SIT AND WATCH THE BLOOD FLOW. [sic]"

This was the text of an SMS sent to Phumzile van Damme and other ad hoc committee members to show that the so-called SABC 8 were being sent death threats. The parliamentary ad hoc committee is investigating the public broadcaster's conduct.

News24 reported on Wednesday that one of the group — axed journalists Foeta Krige, Suna Venter, Krivani Pillay and Jacques Steenkamp on Monday while Thandeka Gqubule, Busisiwe Ntuli, Lukhanyo Calata and freelancer Vuyo Mvoko — received this SMS after the group's testimony on Monday.

ACDP MP Steve Swart described the threats as "shocking". ANC MP Hlomane Chauke said a criminal case needed to be opened, reported News24.

In November, individuals received threats on their assets, with the Sunday Times reporting that they were living in fear.

The eight journalists were fired after objecting to censorship at the broadcaster ahead of the August local government elections. All but one were subsequently re-hired after they challenged their dismissal in court. They were fired for objecting to censorship of protest action in the country ahead of the local government elections in August.

Van Damme, also a Democratic Alliance member, said a case might have been opened already to investigate the source of the SMS.

This article will be updated.

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