Amid all the drama of censorship and journalists being fired at the SABC, a video from 2015 of Hlaudi Motsoeneng boasting about his natural intellectual abilities outside court has been circulating on social media.
He was at court at the time to appeal against a high court judgment ordering the broadcaster to institute disciplinary proceedings against him, as recommended by the public protector.
About a hundred people picketed outside the court in the morning, brandishing placards such as “Hands off Hlaudi!”, “SABC now better than before”, or just “Hlaudi is simply the best”.
It was this small crowd that Motsoeneng addressed.
At times, it’s difficult to actually know what he is saying, as he apparently talks about being “an intellectual lecher” (he probably meant “lecturer”) and then nearly says that he’s not “acamedical”, before changing it to “academic”.
He added that he was “born as an intellectual”.
Following this speech, the supreme court ultimately found in favour of the public protector, but Motsoeneng still doggedly remained in his job.
On Wednesday, the public broadcaster had to back down further in the face of overwhelming pressure against censorship.
Communications regulator Icasa confirmed on Wednesday that the SABC had agreed to abide by the order to withdraw the ban on broadcasting violent protests.
Icasa spokesperson Paseka Maleka said that the broadcaster would abide by the order of its council, as issued on July 11. It had earlier appeared that the SABC missed the Monday deadline to comply due to its belief that it could challenge the regulator in court.
Earlier, the SABC had already conceded to an interdict sought by the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) aimed at stopping the implementation of its policy not to cover violent or other protests.
Eight journalists who were dismissed this week for daring to openly challenge the SABC’s editorial policy are expected to challenge their dismissals in court.
Motsoeneng is no stranger to making odd public statements. The “matric-less” chief operating officer’s address to 2014 matriculants raised many eyebrows after he told pupils their “paper” was not as important as a “brain”.
“You have two kinds of people in this world. You have certificated people and educated people. You can have many degrees, but also in that you need brain,” Motsoeneng said in an interview with The Citizen.