Time to axe Mot­soe­neng – for good

The Star Late Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

HLAUDI Mot­soe­neng is a dan­ger­ous per­son who should never again be al­lowed to as­cend to a po­si­tion of power. It was bad enough that the de­posed for­mer SABC strong­man de­cided to hold a me­dia brief­ing in the shadow of the cor­po­ra­tion that he ran as if it were his per­sonal fief­dom.

But even worse – and in­deed bizarre – was the dis­play of nar­cis­sism that he put on for a group of singing, chant­ing hang­ers-on, as well as a tele­vi­sion au­di­ence of sev­eral mil­lions on Wed­nes­day.

Mot­soe­neng still does not be­lieve that he did any­thing wrong while run­ning the SABC. And the fact that he is still, tech­ni­cally, a staff mem­ber of the na­tional broad­cast­ing cor­po­ra­tion did not stop him from tear­ing into the re­cently ap­pointed in­terim board.

He said it lacked in­tegrity and he lashed out at the ad hoc com­mit­tee which in­ves­ti­gated the go­ings-on at the SABC, and which blamed him for much of the cor­po­ra­tion’s trou­bles.

“They said one man took all the de­ci­sions. That means I’m a pow­er­ful man,” he said. What ut­ter ar­ro­gance.

At the SABC, Mot­soe­neng was no more than a bully who rode roughshod over ev­ery­one who dared to crit­i­cise him – be­cause he knew he had the back­ing of peo­ple at the high­est level, in­clud­ing the then min­is­ter of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Faith Muthambi.

Many of the de­ci­sions this Mr Know-All made were de­plorable – and even tragic. These in­cluded sus­pen­sions and sack­ings of some of the SABC’s most tal­ented jour­nal­ists.

His uni­lat­eral dec­la­ra­tion that 70% of the SABC’s news cov­er­age had to con­sist of good news was dis­as­trous. Even more so was his in­struc­tion that the play-lists of all its ra­dio sta­tions con­sist of 90% lo­cal con­tent.

De­spite be­ing warned that this de­ci­sion could de­stroy some of the cor­po­ra­tion’s ra­dio sta­tions, such as the In­dian-mu­sic ori­ented Lo­tus FM in KwaZulu-Na­tal, he per­sisted, telling those who crit­i­cised this de­ci­sion that they would never win.

Mot­soe­neng’s reck­less stub­born­ness vir­tu­ally de­stroyed Lo­tus FM.

It sticks in the craw that this man earned – and in fact is still earn­ing – R4 mil­lion a year.

We call on the SABC’s in­terim board to act quickly to ter­mi­nate his ser­vices.

And we hope that he is never again al­lowed any­where near an ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tion in the pub­lic ser­vice.

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