Former SABC executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng is trying his best to save face in a last-ditch bid to regain his credibility and career.
On Tuesday Vincent Smith, chairperson of parliament’s ad hoc committee probing the state of affairs at the national broadcaster, said a legal letter had been received from Motsoeneng’s lawyers.
Motsoeneng is protesting that he didn’t get the opportunity to address the committee despite repeated statements from the chairperson that any input from the SABC was welcome.
In the submission Motsoeneng’s lawyers said: “Mr Motsoeneng wished to place on record the prejudice he believes he has suffered because he was not afforded the opportunity to appear before the committee to defend himself.
“He believes that by not calling him to appear before it, the committee had accepted as truth allegations made against him including that he had been responsible for [staff] purges, had flouted policies and that he did not have the requisite qualifications.”
Motsoeneng has repeatedly been in the spotlight for his involvement in staff harassment and censorship. The committee has heard that he rose to power despite not having the requisite qualifications and that he interfered in board decisions. Staff claimed they were intimidated after the board’s ban on broadcast of violent protests.
Smith said a return legal letter was being drafted, but denied that there was any bias or prejudice towards Motsoeneng. While he had not been called as a witness, SABC staff, including himself, had every opportunity to have their say, said Smith.