The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) on Tuesday again called for the dissolution of the South African Broadcasting Corporation(SABC) Board after the Western Cape High Court ruled that the public broadcaster had acted unlawfully in appointing Hlaudi Motsoeneng as the SABC group executive of corporate affairs.
“The current unprecedented leadership crisis facing the public broadcaster warrants urgent decisive action and a concrete plan to rid the SABC of stumbling blocks that are delaying the process to salvage what is left of the corporation’s image and integrity,” said Sanco spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu.
The Western Cape High Court on Monday ruled that Motsoeneng’s appointment as group executive of corporate affairs at the SABC was unlawful and Judge Owen Rogers ordered his immediate suspension and said he may not hold any position at the public broadcaster unless an earlier public protector’s report was set aside or fresh disciplinary hearings exonerated him from wrongdoing.
The judge said Motsoeneng must face new disciplinary hearings, as the proceedings initiated in October last year were “inconsistent with the constitution”.
The court ruling came amid harrowing testimony by current and former SABC staffers during the parliamentary inquiry into the affairs of the broadcaster’s board, which entered its fifth day on Tuesday.
Staff told parliament’s ad hoc committee tasked with the inquiry of how they were censored and stopped from carrying out their mandate to inform the public, while Motsoeneng conducted a reign of terror at the broadcaster.
On Tuesday, Mahlangu said that the purging of key personnel that preceded the current crisis needed to be reversed if the corporation was to reclaim its reputation as a leading global communication industry player.
“The collective of skills, experience and expertise that distinguished the public broadcaster must be nurtured and harnessed for excellence so that the national asset executes its mandate to serve public interest,” he stressed.
He called for the process to appoint a new disciplinary committee to investigate Motsoeneng as per the ruling by Judge Rogers to be sped up and the probe finalised as quickly as possible.
“The process should complement the parliamentary ad hoc committee into the SABC inquiry and not stall it,” asserted Mahlangu.
Mahlangu further applauded the ruling that Motsoeneng pay the costs of the court expenses out of his own pocket.