ON CAMERA: Leanne Manas

Gatvol SABC journalists, in an open revolt against controversial TV boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng, staged a “blackout” on Friday in a show of support for their fired #SABC8 colleagues and to challenge the national broadcaster’s censorship policies.

TV news staff, including anchor Leanne Manas, were all dressed in black when they were on camera, and also posted photos of the silent protest on social media.

However, SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago was adamant it “was not a protest”.

Kganyago on Saturday suggested the pictures published on social media sites could have been falsified and could have been taken on different days.

He said wearing black was not a form of protest. “If people wake up and wear black, it’s not a protest,” he said.

It is understood the silent protest had been planned without leaving a paper trail to prevent incurring the wrath of management.

If journalists had declared they were going to wear black to protest they would have been “dealt with”, said Kganyago.

“If somebody goes out and says that, we will deal with them. What people don’t understand is that there’s a contract between employer and employee.”

SABC chief operating officer Motsoeneng banned coverage of violent protests, but the SABC has reversed this decision after a court ruling.

The fired journalists are fighting their dismissal in the Labour Court.