SABC remains mum on Hlaudi
THREE weeks after the SABC’s controversial boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng was warned against going to his office, the public broadcaster yesterday remained mum on the effects of his absence.
The Western Cape High Court ruled on December 12 that Motsoeneng was not fit to be an employee of the SABC, and his lawyer Zola Majavu advised him not to report for duty.
The SABC, which has already filed its notice of intention to appeal the ruling, yesterday declined to say if there was any effect on its operations since Motsoeneng last reported for duty in December.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: “We do not have an update or any comment.”
In the past, Motsoeneng has been described as a valuable asset to the public broadcaster. He claimed he had turned the SABC around from a loss-making organisation to a profitable one.
However, the DA took the matter to court when the broadcaster held a sham disciplinary hearing which cleared Motsoeneng, after the Public Protector found that he had falsified his matric qualification, given himself irregular pay hikes and purged employees who disagreed with him.
Last month, Judge Owen Rogers ruled that Motsoeneng be removed from his position as the broadcaster’s group executive of corporate affairs – a position he had assumed after an earlier court ruling said he should never have been appointed chief operating officer (COO) in the first place.
Motsoeneng lost his job as COO in September when the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed his leave to appeal against a ruling by the Western Cape High Court setting aside his permanent appointment.
The SABC then appointed him group executive for corporate affairs.
The DA said yesterday it would oppose the SABC’s application to appeal the latest court ruling.
DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe said his party was adamant about having Motsoeneng permanently removed from office.
“The court is likely to appoint a presiding officer and the initiator to oversee the disciplinary hearing,” Selfe said, adding he suspected that Motsoeneng was still receiving a salary from the SABC.
In another development, the parliamentary ad hoc communications committee investigating the affairs of the SABC is expected to resume later this week. The committee was set to reconvene today, but has reportedly postponed its sitting till Friday.
During the previous hearings, allegations of possible fraud regarding an amount of R42 million paid out to a tender to build a new studio were levelled against Motsoeneng, who has also been accused of conducting a reign of terror.
Motsoeneng has previously denied any wrongdoing on his part.