An online fundraising campaign has been launched to help offer financial support to the eight SABC journalists who have been fired.

The Friends of SABC Journalists fundraiser was started on generosity.com by News24 editor, Adriaan Basson a few hours ago, just after news broke that Suna Venter, Jacques Steenkamp, Foeta Kriga and Krivani Pillay were all fired by the public broadcaster with immediate effect.

Initially, the campaign was set up to support the above-mentioned four, but shortly after news broke that Thandeka Gqubule, Busisiwe Ntuli ,Lukhanyo Calata and Vuyo Mvoko were also fired, they too were added to it.

“Eight brave South African journalists lost their jobs on Mandela Day for standing up for media freedom and telling the truth,” the fundraiser page reads.

“Yes, we can protest and issue statements and write columns in their support, but at month-end they have to pay bills, probably with half a month’s salary if they are lucky…This is a call to all who value media freedom and deeply care about the state of journalism in South Africa to crowd source some money for them, just to see them through the worst few weeks of their professional lives,” it continues.

The goal is to raise $6 000 (around R86 000) for them and so far, 42 people have donated $1 615 (around R23 000) in three hours.

The funds raised will be distributed equally to the journalists with the help of attorney Willem de Klerk, who has offered to facilitate the process through his firm.

[UPDATE as as 6pm: The fundraising target has now been surpassed and currently stands at $6 112]