SABC still defending Motsoeneng

African News Agency (ANA)

SABC still defending Motsoeneng
Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Photo: SABC

The SABC board on Wednesday clung to its insistence that it had rightfully re-appointed Hlaudi Motsoeneng in another senior post, at a parliamentary committee session the opposition said it hoped would spell “the beginning of the end” for him.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, who seems isolated in the ANC in her support of Motsoeneng, said she would leave the briefing Parliament’s portfolio committee to the board.

Acting board chairman Mbulaheni Maguvhe then told MPs that the high court ruling last year that invalidated Motsoeneng’s appointment as chief operations officer never precluded him serving in another post, nor did other judgements and therefore there had been no obstacle to naming him as general chief executive of corporate affairs, a new post tailored to suit his skills.

This came after the Supreme Court of Appeal denied leave to appeal Judge Dennis Davis’s high court judgment that Muthambi acted irrationally when she confirmed his appointment as COO in 2014 despite adverse findings by the Public Protector.

“At no time did any of the judgements state that Mr Motsoeneng had to be dismissed as an employee.”

Moreover, Maguvhe said, it should be noted that a disciplinary hearing in December last year had cleared Motsoeneng, and that in terms of the the memorandum of incorporation of the SABC, the process followed to name him in the new post was right.

“The MOI, it stipulates that the powers to appoint and to staff members of the SABC management team are designated to the CE and can only be revoked by the minister… this requirement is included under clause 4 of the delegation of authority framework,” he added.

It meant that acting chief executive James Aguma had acted lawfully when he gave Motsoeneng the new job.

“Mr Aguma does not require board approval, this approval will have the unintended consequences of subverting the rule of law,” he added.

James Selfe, the chairman of the DA’s federal executive, said he found the chairman’s presentation disingenuous.

“It is a sorry history of ducking and diving,” Selfe said.

“It is almost surreal that in face of chapter 9 finding and three court judgements we find ourselves in this meeting still discussing. I hope this is the beginning of the end.”

Economic Freedom Fighters deputy leader Floyd Shivambu said the SABC had flouted, again, the law in side-stepping the Public Protector’s directives on Motsoeneng and urged Parliament to launch an inquiry into the SABC board’s fitness to hold office.

Political support for Motsoeneng appeared to have dried up last week as Cabinet urged the public broadcaster to respect the spirit and letter of the court ruling against him.

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SOURCEAfrican News Agency (ANA)