Former South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng is expected to appear in the Johannesburg Labour Court on Tuesday to explain why he should not be held personally liable for the wrongful dismissal of the SABC8 journalists.
Suna Venter, Foeta Krige, Krivani Pillay, Thandeka Gqubule, Busisiwe Ntuli, Lukhanyo Calata, Vuyo Mvoko and Jacques Steenkamp were fired by the public broadcaster in July 2016 for speaking out against Motsoeneng's policy of no longer airing footage of violent protests.
Seven of the eight journalists were subsequently rehired following a High Court ruling.
Motsoeneng was removed as chief operating officer (COO) after the Supreme Court of Appeal in September last year rejected his bid to appeal the Western Cape High Court’s November 2015 ruling declaring his appointment irrational and setting it aside.
In June, the SABC announced Motsoeneng’s dismissal after he was found guilty by an internal disciplinary hearing where charges of bringing the SABC into disrepute and causing irreparable damage to his employer were investigated.
The internal disciplinary committee found that he lied about his qualifications, that he purged the SABC of staff and promoted people and raised salaries without following the correct procedures.