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Journalist fired for seeking political office

2 Apr 2014 06:05
NEWSWATCH: Business Report senior journalist Donwald Pressly has been fired for seeking political office with the Democratic Alliance, reports news24, but he plans to appeal his dismissal, reports Mail & Guardian.
Journalist fired for seeking political officeFor more:
  • news24: Journalist fired over political ambitions... According to the news24 report, Business Report's Donwald Pressly "has been fired for seeking political office with the Democratic Alliance".

    Independent Newspapers group executive editor Karima Brown is quoted as saying "...we hold the trust that our readers and audiences place in us very dearly and will do all we can to safeguard this."

  • Mail & Guardian: Business Report journo to appeal dismissal... It is reported that Pressly is not taking his dismissal lying down and will appeal against it, reports Mail & Guardian.

    And according to the Constitution...

The Constitution | Constitution of the Republic of South Africa

Chapter 2

Bill of rights (ss 7-39)

Political rights

1. Every citizen is free to make political choices, which includes the right-
a. to form a political party;
b. to participate in the activities of, or recruit members for, a political party; and
c. to campaign for a political party or cause.
2. Every citizen has the right to free, fair and regular elections for any legislative body established in terms of the Constitution.
3. Every adult citizen has the right-
a. to vote in elections for any legislative body established in terms of the Constitution, and to do so in secret; and
b. to stand for public office and, if elected, to hold office.
Sam Usadolo
Although, the question of objectivity and conflict of interest come to mind here, the dismissal of the journalism is wrong. The newspaper will have itself to blame if it does not withdraw the dismissal order against the journalist. Instead of firing the journalist, assign him to duties with less chance of conflict of interest ---- Dr S.E. Usadolo
Posted on 2 Apr 2014 21:27
Yolanda Murisha Snyman
Yolanda Murisha Snyman
If you sign an employment contract that specifically state that you cannot under any circumstances affiliate yourself with any political party. Does that mean that the contract is illegal as it clearly undermine your rights as a citizen? Understandably that the paper has to safeguard their image, and their political voice must be unbiased.
Posted on 3 Apr 2014 15:25
Right said Fred
I'm no legal expert but as far as I am aware, the Constitution is the ultimate law of SA and anything - be it a law, regulation or company rule - that contravenes the Constitution is illegal.

And I would think that any punitive action taken in terms of such any unconstitutional law, regulation or company rule would therefore itself be unconstitutional and therefore illegal.

Perhaps a legal expert out there could explain the legalities in a situation like that in which Pressly finds himself?
Posted on 7 Apr 2014 05:50
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