Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has rubbished the recently released report into editorial interference at the SABC and called it “nonsensical”.
The report contained damning findings against the former COO and included a recommendation for a review of his instructions to the human resources department to institute disciplinary hearings against employees and to dismiss or promote others.
In the findings of the commission, which was chaired by veteran journalist and former chairperson of the Press Council of SA, Joe Thloloe, several high-ranking staff members and government officials were implicated.
The SABC said it would take disciplinary action against those implicated, News24 reported .
However, speaking to eNCA’s Faith Mangope during Newshour , Motsoeneng said there was an attempt by certain individuals, the interim board, and the ad hoc committee to tarnish people’s names, including his.
He agreed with Mangope that the report was an agenda to discredit decisions he took as the COO.
“I am the first person at the SABC to make sure that all employees are treated fairly. I did transform the SABC and I don’t apologise,” he said.
He said before he took office at the broadcaster, there was a financial crisis which he fixed and that he generated funds to stabilise it.
The commission also found that the SABC “suffered from the capricious use of authority and power to terrorise staff and to deflect the corporation from its mandate and editorial policies”.
“SABC executives took instructions from people with no authority in the newsroom, for example, member of the SABC Board [Ellen Tshabalala] and the Minister of Communications [Faith Muthambi],” the report stated.
Motsoeneng said there was no political interference, especially from Muthambi, and denied that he had ever been influenced when making decisions.
News24 reported that the DA said it would lay criminal charges against Muthambi.
While the SABC said it intended to take disciplinary action against those who were implicated, Motsoeneng said the broadcaster had no grounds to discipline him.
He added that the report was misleading.
“No one has ever given me an instruction. If people did give me an instruction, I can’t say I did implement their instructions.”
He added that all decisions he made at the broadcaster were his and they were not clouded by anyone else, including Muthambi.