A lonely end for Mot­soe­neng and Molefe

CityPress - - Voices - Du­misane Lu­bisi voices@city­press.co.za Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Du­misaneLu­bisi

On May 15, Brian Molefe danced his way to the foyer of Eskom’s head­quar­ters where a large crowd waited for him – in song – to re­claim his job. Se­duced by the warm re­cep­tion, Molefe took on the role of a pop­ulist and played to the gallery.

He made sev­eral an­nounce­ments around con­tin­u­ing “with our mis­sion of keep­ing the lights on”, build­ing power plants and ad­dress­ing salary dis­par­i­ties. All this while the gath­er­ing cheered him on.

He had re­signed from the job, although we later found out that he never ac­tu­ally re­signed, but had agreed with the Eskom board on an early re­tire­ment pack­age, af­ter a mere 18 months on the job, and R30 mil­lion in a du­bi­ous pay­out.

A month ear­lier, on April 19, TV cam­eras rolled for more than three hours as, first, mu­si­cians herowor­shipped re­cently fired SABC chief oper­at­ing of­fi­cer Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng for his de­ci­sion to give their mu­sic a big­ger plat­form.

When Mot­soe­neng did even­tu­ally speak, he said he was puz­zled by why his 90% con­tent plan across 18 SABC ra­dio sta­tions and 80% lo­cal con­tent on SABC TV was not get­ting more sup­port.

“There’s noth­ing wrong with lo­cal con­tent. All South Africans should sup­port lo­cal con­tent.

“We want to see black and white ben­e­fit­ing from 90% and all the busi­ness it brings. Why would peo­ple want The Bold & The Beau­ti­ful when they can have lo­cal?” he asked.

Per­haps want­ing to fol­low the ex­am­ple of Molefe, who be­came an ANC branch mem­ber and MP overnight – al­beit briefly – Mot­soe­neng added that he was tempted to en­ter pol­i­tics and that he wouldn’t strug­gle for sup­port as he “rep­re­sents the ma­jor­ity”.

Just like for all pop­ulists, the sto­ries of Molefe and Mot­soe­neng have the same end­ing.

Mot­soe­neng was fired from the SABC for hold­ing the very same press con­fer­ence where he was praised.

And Molefe was fired from the power util­ity af­ter the ANC he rep­re­sented in Par­lia­ment de­cided that his stay could not be jus­ti­fied.

Both are pur­su­ing sep­a­rate le­gal routes to get their jobs back. It will be a tough task con­vinc­ing the courts that their ex­pul­sions were not valid.

Molefe is no longer sur­rounded by the Eskom staff mem­bers who sang “uyeza uPapa Ac­tion [Papa Ac­tion is com­ing]” and Mot­soe­neng no longer has the back­ing of the artists whose mu­sic he tried to force upon South Africans.

In their hour of need, both are lonely and only have the brown walls of court­rooms for inspiration.

Just like for all pop­ulists, the sto­ries of Molefe and Mot­soe­neng have the same end­ing

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