SABC boss Motsoeneng hangs onto job for now

SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. File picture: Michel Bega

SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. File picture: Michel Bega

Embattled SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng yesterday successfully persuaded the court to allow him to keep his R2.4million-a-year job for the next three months – pending his appeal against possible suspension, yesterday.

Western Cape High CourtJudge Lee Bozalek and his colleagues, deferred the matter until September when Motsoeneng’s appeal will be heard. Motsoeneng, who is SABC’s chief operating officer, launched an appeal after the DA successfully secured an earlier court ruling that instructed the SABC to suspend him within 60 days pending a disciplinary hearing.

In April this year, Judge Ashton Schippers had warned that the SABC board chairperson would have to be summoned to explain if a hearing was not instituted against Motsoeneng.

However, after Motsoeneng’s court appearance yesterday his lawyers and those representing the DA agreed to the judge’s proposal to postpone the matter. They agreed that it was urgent that the SCA pronounce whether the Chapter 9 institution’s findings were binding on state organs,

Motsoeneng’s troubles started after the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s probed allegations of wrong doing against him.

She found that the SABC boss had lied about having a matric qualification and had irregularly raised his own salary three times in one year from R1.3m to R2.4million. Motsoeneng was also found to have unfairly dismissed senior and competent staff.

DA’s federal council chairperson James Selfe said: “The trade-off is that Mr Motsoeneng gets to stay in his job now, but the main case, with its implications on findings by the public protector, is expedited.”

Motsoeneng’s lawyer Zola Majavu told The Citizen in April that the recommendation that his client must be relieved of his duties was “made by a person without powers,” – in an apparent indirect reference to Public Protector Madonsela.

The matter will now be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein in September.

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