Former SABC executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng has reportedly tried to circumvent his disciplinary hearing by bringing up the Protected Public Disclosure Act of 2000, which is usually used as a defence by whistleblowers claiming they were wrongfully charged or dismissed for exposing corruption by their employers.
TimesLIVE reported that on Thursday morning Motsoeneng’s lawyer argued before Advocate Nazeem Cassim – the chairperson of the disciplinary committee – that the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) should rather hear his case after he was charged by the public broadcaster for bringing it into disrepute following his media conference last month criticising the interim SABC board and its plans to scrap his controversial 90% local music quota.
His lawyer, Advocate Andy Bester, is reported to have told the committee it had no jurisdiction to hear his matter apparently because the comments Motsoeneng is being charged with for fall under the Protected Public Disclosure Act.
“This whole process that you have been instructed to proceed with‚ will simply be before that person simply for the reason that the employee alleges that utterances are protected public disclosures.
“This is an allegation by an employee regarding the employer and therefore it should go to the arbitrator, [and] I am informed that this referral has been lodged with the CCMA‚” Bester was quoted as saying.
But the SABC’s lawyer, Advocate Anton Myburgh, argued there was no need for Motsoeneng’s matter to be heard by the CCMA.
Cassim ruled in favour of the SABC, saying Motsoeneng’s application must fail and the disciplinary hearing should proceed.