Controversial clause to intercept staff communication scrapped by ill-informed SABC

The contract stipulated intercepting, monitoring, and read staffers’ communication.

The move saw unions having a busy day in office, so did South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) describing it as “extremely concerning” and “illegal.

As pressure mounted the public broadcaster moved swiftly to revisit the controversial clause and remove it from the contracts of worried employees.

On Thursday, the public broadcaster announced that following concerns over the clause, it decided to remove it with immediate effect.

In a statement on Thursday, the corporation said while the clause was standard since 2008, it was not intended to violate the rights of journalists or their sources of information. It said journalists and their sources were adequately protected by its editorial policies of 2020.

“The SABC appreciates how this clause may be misunderstood and has therefore decided to remove it from all employment contracts with immediate effect and added that its decision to remove the clause would apply to all new contracts and would be implemented retrospectively,” read the statement.

Disgruntled employees and friends we spoke to at the public broadcaster had initially vowed to fight this draconian clause.

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