Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has won a court battle against an application brought by the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to force him to pay legal costs incurred by the broadcaster.
The Western Cape High Court ruled in Motsoeneng’s favour following his legal action against the broadcaster on comments made during a press conference in April 2017.
According to a My Broadband report, Motsoeneng was challenging the broadcaster for charging him on the basis of comments made during the briefing in 2017 and not on the basis of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations.
He claimed victory against the SABC, which attempted to have him cover its legal costs. An insider told City Press that the broadcaster was spending too much money on legal cases, especially those brought by disgruntled former employees who were fired for being appointed by Motsoeneng.
The SABC has denied the allegations and claimed it had followed recommendations by the parliamentary ad hoc committee and the Public Protector.
In 2018, Motsoeneng lost another attempt to appeal the cost order that he should be held personally liable for the legal costs related to his 2016 broadcast ban of public violence at the public broadcaster, and the drama that ensued with the firing of eight journalists who defied the ban.
The Constitutional Court dismissed his appeal attempt after the Supreme Court of Appeal had earlier dismissed it.
Motsoeneng took a decision to ban violent protests ahead of the 2016 local government elections. The so-called SABC 8 journalists who went against this were unlawfully dismissed.
The Supreme Court of Appeal in 2016 also dismissed his application for leave to appeal a high court ruling that his permanent appointment needed to be set aside.
In 2015, the Western Cape High Court found Motsoeneng’s appointment was irrational and unlawful and set it aside. He refused to vacate his office at the time, saying he would appeal to the SCA.
Motsoeneng has faced accusations that he is largely to blame for the SABC’s current financial woes.
(Compiled by Gopolang Moloko)