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Media association pickets South African Broadcasting Corporation

(IFJ/IFEX) - 19 September, 2012 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today backed the Media Workers Association of South Africa (MWASA) which is picketing at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Radio-Park head office.

The association is demanding recognition of its right to organise and fair treatment of its members. The picketing follows the suspension of MWASA's members from the corporation and the ban on the association from organising there.

The IFJ President Jim Boumelha today wrote to Lulama Mokhobo, SABC Chief Executive Officer, welcoming the recent deal reached to lift the ban but urged SABC management to treat MWASA's members fairly and respect their right to freedom of expression and association.

"We were pleased to hear that you have finally agreed with MWASA on 29th August the reinstatement with immediate effect of MWASA's right to organise at SABC and we hope that you will be able to confirm the agreement as soon as possible," said Boumelha in his letter. "MWASA is right to demand the reinstatement of its members excluded from SABC and to request that all staff are treated equally, and that the corporation should respect the right to freedom of expression and association."

The IFJ also called for an end to attacks against staff and other abuses which were denounced by MWASA as reminiscent of apartheid-era practices.

"These disparities need to be addressed as a matter of urgency," added Boumelha. "We agree with MWASA that SABC should focus all its core functions on achieving a sustainable future that enables it to support a viable creative industry and being accessible to all citizens."

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