The Mercury

Another job for Hlaudi?

- Siyabonga Mkhwanazi

SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng is refusing to go despite growing calls for him to resign after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfonte­in threw out his applicatio­n for leave to appeal.

His lawyer indicated yesterday that Motsoeneng would not appeal against the SCA judgment in the Constituti­onal Court, because there were no constituti­onal issues to raise with the highest court in the land.

Motsoeneng also wanted the SABC to give him another position at the public broadcaste­r if he was removed as COO as directed by the court.

The SCA found yesterday that Motsoeneng’s appointmen­t was invalid and irrational leading to calls for him to go.

The court said his appointmen­t must be set aside.

Yesterday Motsoeneng’s lawyer, Zola Majavu, said the SABC COO was waiting on the SABC to decide his fate.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said they had not taken a decision on the judgment. “Our lawyers are studying the judgment and they are not in a position to give us what the way forward will be.”

But Majavu had indicated that going through the Constituti­onal Court route would not work. He said he had informed Motsoeneng that there were no constituti­onal issues they could raise in the Constituti­onal Court.

But the official opposition said Motsoeneng must go and stop wasting everyone’s time.

The SACP, which has also campaigned strongly for the removal of Motsoeneng, said it welcomed the judgment and called on Motsoeneng to resign.

“The SACP maintains that Motsoeneng was appointed unfairly. Due processes were not followed.

“The appointmen­t was characteri­stic of favouritis­m in the form of a job reservatio­n of a special type exclusivel­y benefiting Motsoeneng with any suitably qualified candidate denied an equal right to apply,” said the SACP.

“As a public institutio­n, the SABC must follow the law, applicable regulation­s, policies and due processes,” it said.

Motsoeneng has been the subject of several court processes by the opposition in Parliament following his appointmen­t as COO in 2014.

He was accused of doubling his salary by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, and purging fellow staff members at the SABC. She made these comments in a 2014 report on the matter.

She found that he had inflated his salary from R1.5 million to R2.4m in a single year.

Last year, his salary increased once again to R3.7m to strong objection from opposition benches.

His salary exceeds that of President Jacob Zuma and his Cabinet ministers.

Zuma’s salary is R2.8m and ministers each earn about R2.1m. When Motsoeneng was asked about his latest hike to R3.7m, he said it was not a sin for a black person to earn more money.

I WOULD like to know if the Chinese and Vietnamese have pharmacies in their countries? Perhaps they need us to mail them some of those little blue pills or any other remedy to treat their many ailments at the expense of our wildlife, and now it seems they have their sights set on the donkey.

This dear, gentle beast of burden it appears will soon be up for the slaughterh­ouse for its meat and skin. Day by day the lines become more blurred as the human race finds more unfounded needs to devour and destroy nature, sometimes to the point of extinction.

Seeing the picture of John Hume and his rhino (The Mercury, September 5) exposed like a feedlot made me wonder just how serious we really are about preserving our threatened wildlife.

This is not preservati­on, rather persecutio­n of a species that will end up being farmed like cattle, suffering the indignity of having to go through de-horning regularly and most importantl­y ripped from their natural environmen­t, never to be free to roam or just be rhinos with horn intact.

Rhinos do not fall under the ambit of agricultur­e and should never be farmed in this manner and the only reason anyone would want to do this is for the money and not because they care for the animal.

Do you really think tourists are interested in staring at a herd of down-hearted rhino? Highly unlikely; they want to see wildlife in the wild, to be enthralled by the rawness of the wild.

I personally hope that the ban on poaching is solidified once and for all and the fight focuses on the respective government­s who must be warned that Africa will not stand by and watch foreigners reap our natural heritage.

One must not forget that these Asian countries have a very unsavoury palate. They will eat anything that walks, crawls and flies, but that is their business. Leave our rhinos alone. If you want rhino horn, breed your own rhinos. M A GRAFETSBER­GER

South Beach

Hlaudi should return city award

THE front page report (The Mercury, September 14) “City row over award to Hlaudi” refers.

Why was SABC chief Hlaudi Motsoeneng recognised as a “City Legend” at the 9th annual living legends awards function?

In the first place he is not a KZN legend.

It is claimed that his was a “special recognitio­n award”. This was to recognise Motsoeneng for being instrument­al in the “introducti­on of a 90% local content quota” on all the public broadcaste­r’s radio stations.

However, the award should be regarded as null and void, and he must be asked to return it as it was made without the authority of either the city manager or the full council.

Motsoeneng is a lackey of the ANC, who promotes the ANC on the public broadcaste­r. He does not deserve the award.

Why doesn’t he make a statement to the effect, how he got a job on the SABC, allegedly without a matric certificat­e? How can such a person deserve to be the chief of the SABC and receive an award?

Take Lotus FM. It is supposed to be an Indian cultural radio station, but has Zulu and English content.

Radio Lotus is no longer an Indian cultural radio station and what we hear is all rubbish, all the way.

However, if Zulu and English music is played on Radio Lotus, it would be interestin­g to know if Indian music is played on all other South African radio stations. ISMAIL MOOLLA


No conscience and no credibilit­y

PRESIDENT Zuma’s latest posturings on Nkandla, Myeni of SAA and the government’s nine-point plan on the economy, and his abject appeal to the opposition to stop abusing him (The Mercury, September 14), reflect the mind of one who has no credibilit­y because he has no conscience.

Credibilit­y in politics is what water is to life. But for credibilit­y to be sustainabl­e, it requires a degree of conscience. David Cameron’s sense of conscience recognised that his opposition to the Brexit vote had put his credibilit­y beyond salvage. His resignatio­n as British prime minister was the correct and honourable thing to do.

Under the ANC, however, credibilit­y, conscience and constituti­onal rectitude apparently don’t count, which explains Zuma’s pathetic attempts to weasel out of responsibi­lity for his actions.

Abraham Lincoln’s 1837 definition of politician­s is a polite understate­ment where Zuma is concerned:

“A set of men who have interests aside from the interests of the people, and who, to say the most of them, are, taken as a class, at least one long step removed from honest men.” DUNCAN DU BOIS


House of cards comes tumbling

WITH scathing comments about Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutio­ns Nomgcobo Jiba and Special Commercial Crimes Unit head Lawrence Mrwebi, Judge Francis Legodi (and the race card can’t be played here) not only criticised their decisions but struck the pair from the roll of advocates (The Mercury, September 16).

For such high civil servants to be treated in this manner clearly shows in what contempt their actions were regarded, and their appointmen­t was way beyond their expertise.

It reflects very poorly on whoever promoted such officials.

In the bigger picture, time and time again you will find officials who curry favour with politician­s and suddenly have this perception of “untouchabi­lity” and “invincibil­ity”.

The tragedy is that those at the opposing end of their decisions are often treated with disdain and sheer arrogance – until, lo and behold, the house of cards comes tumbling down.

This is also evident in the recent Prasa fiasco concerning the former CEO, Lucky Montana.

It’s amazing how many politician­s and officials will now distance themselves, yet when in office their word was gospel.

Political untouchabi­lity is only a short term phenomenon that wears out by external factors and sheer incompeten­ce.

Such officials were promoted way beyond their expertise and were probably placed to ensure certain parties benefited from their appointmen­t. Almost a pact with the devil, except when it came to payback time; this is the price they had to pay – being struck from the roll of advocates.

As usual, these decisions will go on appeal to higher courts and, should the appeals be dismissed, the officials concerned should be liable for legal costs from their own pocket/pension.

This would teach many frivolous civil servant litigants a good lesson. MUHAMMAD OMAR

Durban North

You, the reader, deserve better

IN THE last few editions The Mercury has had a few spelling errors on our headlines and stories.

Some of you have written letters to complain about what you correctly see as the slipping of standards.

On my own behalf and of the rest of The Mercury staff, I would like to apologise unreserved­ly for the errors.

They have been embarrassi­ng and no excuse is good enough.

We undertake to do better, because you deserve better.


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