South Africa 11.7.2014 03:39 pm

FF Plus to submit complaint over Motsoeneng

FILE PICTURE: Anton Alberts from the Freedom Front Plus at the Press Freedom Commission in Johannesburg. Picture: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Loanna Hoffmann.

FILE PICTURE: Anton Alberts from the Freedom Front Plus at the Press Freedom Commission in Johannesburg. Picture: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Loanna Hoffmann.

The Freedom Front Plus plans to lodge a complaint with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) over the permanent appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as SABC chief operations officer.

“The commission will be asked to investigate possible irregularities of [minister of communications] Faith Muthambi, the SABC board and… Hlaudi Motsoeneng,” the party’s parliamentary spokesman Anton Alberts said in a statement on Friday.

“The FFPlus will also ask the commission to refer any possible criminal acts to the National Prosecuting Authority for further investigation and prosecution.”

The CIPC, according to the Companies Act, has the power to investigate any wrongdoing in a company.

“As far as we know, it is the first time the commission will be investigating a public enterprise. The commission furthermore has a lot more bite than the public protector and has the power to issue a non-compliance notice and act in terms of the requirements of the Companies Act,” he said.

Alberts said, according to the Act, a chief operations officer is also viewed as a director and has to meet the fiduciary requirements expected of a director.

“On the basis of this, the commission should therefore determine whether he [Motsoeneng] had met his obligations… “

The CIPC could not be reached for comment on Friday.

In February, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report on Motsoeneng, while he was acting COO. She found that his salary increased from R1.5 million to R2.4m in one year, that he had purged senior staff, and misrepresented his qualifications — that he had passed matric — to the SABC.

At the time, Madonsela recommended that a new COO be appointed to the SABC within 90 days.

Muthambi announced Motsoeneng’s appointment on Tuesday, saying the decision was taken following a recommendation by the SABC board. She said he was cleared of all wrongdoing by a legal firm before being appointed permanently.

On Friday, Madonsela’s office said it would launch a new investigation into Motsoeneng following his new appointment.

“The investigation will focus on the process followed in the appointment of Mr Motsoeneng which is at odds with the SABC’s Articles of Association,” Madonsela’s spokeswoman Kgalalelo Masibi said in an e-mail to Sapa.

“The public protector has received complaints regarding allegations of maladministration and improper and unethical conduct in the appointment of Mr Motsoeneng. The allegations are that the minister appointed [him] despite him not being suitably qualified.”

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance said it was consulting with its legal team to assess the possibility of having Motsoeneng’s new appointment overturned in court.

“They will explore every legal avenue,” said DA MP Gavin Davis.




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