News24 has reported that the SABC board has found a widely expected loophole to keep Hlaudi Motsoeneng in charge at the public broadcaster.
It asked Motsoeneng’s long-time ally Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to appoint him in an acting capacity until the end of the year. They reportedly also resolved that this be considered as with effect from September 19.
Earlier on Thursday, The Times reported that it had obtained a copy of a draft resolution sent to board members on Monday for this plan to take effect.
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This latest proposal goes against the findings of the public protector as well as several court rulings that he should not be in the job.
The draft document in the newspaper’s possession read: “Since the next board meeting is scheduled for 28 October 2016 the board is requested to recommend that the honourable minister approves the appointment of Mr GH Motsoeneng as the acting COO for the period 19 September 2016 to 18 December 2016 on a round-robin basis.”
Earlier, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed Motsoeneng’s leave to appeal against a high court ruling that he should not be in his position. The court order stated: “The application for leave to appeal is dismissed with costs on the grounds that there is no reasonable prospect of success in an appeal and there is no other compelling reason why it should be heard.”
Reacting to the news, Congress of the People (Cope) spokesperson Dennis Bloem urged Motsoeneng to leave his position immediately. “We all know – and Motsoeneng also knows – that he does not have the necessary qualifications to occupy that high office … Motsoeneng’s delaying tactics must come to an end. It is not going to work this time.”
He added that Motsoeneng was wasting taxpayers’ money by “running up and down to all these courts trying to defend himself”.
“Now it is enough. It is time he faces the music.”
Cope called on President Jacob Zuma and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to respect the constitution and fire Motsoeneng.
The DA, which brought the initial application, said the SCA’s decision should see Motsoeneng removed from his position.
“Mr Motsoeneng, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and the SABC have been unsuccessful in almost all courts in which he has sought to keep his job.
“He and his band of protectors now need to abandon this abuse of our judicial system and taxpayers’ money into which millions of rands have already been plundered,” said DA MP James Selfe.
In 2012, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found Motsoeneng had fraudulently represented his qualifications when he gained employment at the SABC. She also found his salary had increased from R1.5 million to R2.4 million in one year.
The high court ruling further instructed that he be suspended on full pay and a disciplinary process be instituted against him. Motsoeneng then appealed the application.