High Court Judge Dennis Davis on Friday set aside the appointment of SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng as unlawful and irrational.
Davis said in the judgment delivered in the Western Cape High Court that whatever the reasons for Communications Minister Faith Muthambi’s “obvious preference” for Motsoeneng, her decision last year to appoint him in a permanent capacity was incongruent with legality.
Davis cited the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal which held that nobody could ignore the findings of the Public Protector in favour of that of a parallel investigation.
The chapter nine institution had directed the SABC to institute a disciplinary process against Motsoeneng for misrepresenting his qualifications, inflating his own salary and allegedly purging staff at the public broadcaster. In spite of this, Muthambi in July 2014 confirmed his permanent appointment to the post.
The Democratic Alliance then went to court seeking a review of that decision, sparking a long legal wrangle which the party says should have implications for President Jacob Zuma because of similarities in the way he has sought to sidestep Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s findings on the Nkandla scandal.
Davis awarded costs in the DA’s favour.