SABC must sack Motsoeneng

Lying about one’s qualifications is a serious criminal offence that is spreading alarmingly in this country.

It is deeply worrying to see politically-connected individuals accused of this crime not only getting away with it but also being handsomely rewarded for their dishonesty.

One such person is highly overpaid and unqualified acting SABC’s chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, whose appointment to the position Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has found to be irregular.

In her damning report announced yesterday, Madonsela said allegations that Motsoeneng committed fraud by stating in his application form that he had completed matric were also substantiated.

“Mr Motsoeneng would have never been appointed in 1995 had he not lied about his qualification; and he repeated that lie in 2003 when he applied for the post of executive producer [of] current affairs, to which he accordingly should have never been appointed,” said Madonsela.

She also queried Motsoeneng’s crooked salary progression. “The allegation that Mr Motsoeneng’s salary progression was irregular is substantiated, in that he received salary appraisals three times in one year, hiking his salary as executive manager for stakeholder relations from R1.5 million to R2.4 million.

“His salary progression as the acting COO concomitantly rose irregularly from R122 961 to R211 172 (63% increase) in 12 months and was in violation of the SABC personnel regulations and constitutes improper conduct and maladministration.”

It is outrageous that instead of being a subject of a criminal investigation, Motsoeneng has been allowed to live large at the taxpayers’ expense.

To clean up the mess at the institution, the SABC board needs to take tough action, starting with sacking Motsoeneng and letting him face the full might of the law for lying about his credentials.

Letting him get off scot-free will send out a dangerous message that crime pays.

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