Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
3 minute read
13 Jun 2017
5:01 am

Fired Hlaudi to seek legal advice

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

The former SABC COO was shown the door yesterday after an internal disciplinary hearing found him guilty of misconduct.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng speaks to The Citizen, 4 May 2015, in his then office at the SABC in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. Picture: Michel Bega

Former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng appeared to be the last to know he had been fired yesterday after he was found guilty of misconduct.

As reports of his dismissal yesterday were confirmed by the SABC’s interim board chairperson, Khanyisile Kweyama, Motsoeneng said he had not been made aware of his axing.

The usually outspoken Motsoeneng said he would only speak about his future endeavours when he “receives the ruling”.

He said: “They have not even been in contact with my lawyer.”

Lawyer Zola Majavu confirmed that neither he nor his client had received the judgment from Motsoeneng’s disciplinary hearing, or the board’s notice of dismissal.

“… just spoke to client, he too has not received anything, not even the judgment we were promised so I can’t say anything further. We respect processes and our client’s rights remain reserved,” Majavu said in an SMS.

Motsoeneng added that once he got the ruling he would seek legal advice and “take it from there”.

“I don’t know the findings and the facts – other people are lucky that they have the ruling.”

But addressing media at the SABC’s headquarters yesterday, Kweyama said the board had communicated its decision to fire Motsoeneng to him “through the appropriate channels”.

The SABC charged him with misconduct after he held a bizarre press conference earlier this year while on suspension.

“In it, he unleashed a slew of insults and accusations directed at interim board members and the parliament ad hoc committee dealing with the beleaguered broadcaster.

He was suspended last year following a Western Cape High Court ruling against his appointment as chief operating officer.

Although the entire board was due to address the media yesterday, only Kweyama took to the podium as her colleagues were in a “scheduled” meeting with Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo.

Kweyama did not divulge the purpose of the meeting but disclosed that the broadcaster was in talks about an urgent bailout, admitting the SABC was in dire financial straits.

But she dismissed rumours it was struggling to pay salaries.

“Are we tightening the belt? Yes, we are tightening the belt. Are we sometimes robbing Peter to pay Paul? We are sometimes doing that but at no stage in the past three months have the salaries of staff been in jeopardy. The only people who haven’t been paid are on the board.”

This was because the board had decided to defer its fees while the corporation was in financial trouble, she added.

Kweyama also announced the board had rescinded the so-called censorship policy banning the broadcast of violent protests. The ban was instituted by Motsoeneng last year.

The board was in talks with MultiChoice in a bid to pull out of a contract which would give it the rights to two of the SABC’s channels and negotiations were under way with The New Age to cancel its contract to host the weekly TNA breakfast briefings.

The now-cancelled show was last aired on Friday.

Also on the board’s agenda was a contract with debt collection company LornaVision, which has been handed over to the Special Investigative Unit as the company was underperforming.

The company has been linked to alleged Gupta associate Kuben Moodley. – news@citizen.co.za