SABC’s appeal to keep Hlaudi as COO dismissed

Motsoeneng has previously lost appeals to keep his position as then-chief operating officer.

Infamous and publicly disgraced SABC executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng has few options available to prevent him being kicked to the curb again after the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal for him to keep his job.

The high court ruled in December last year that pending the outcome of a 2014 public protector’s report, Motsoeneng had no place in the organisation.

Motsoeneng’s legal team argued it was an internal matter, that it wasn’t for the courts to decide and nor was it in the public’s interest to delve deeper.

Motsoeneng has previously lost appeals to keep his position as then-chief operating officer.

Within a week, however, he was brought back into the national broadcaster’s management fold and appointed executive of corporate affairs.

The court found that for Motsoeneng to be in any position at the national broadcaster was also invalid, pending the findings of a new disciplinary process or a court review of parts of former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on his conduct.

Motsoeneng was on the defensive on Tuesday when asked for comment on the court ruling.

“It’s nothing to do with me. I don’t comment on court matters,” he said.

His legal adviser was not immediately available for comment.

The department of communications was equally dismissive, saying it could not “comment on all SABC” affairs.

Spokesperson Mish Molakeng said all questions had to be forwarded for comment.

“Your questions are misdirected. The SABC is best-placed to respond and not the ministry of communications,” he added.

William Bird, the director of Media Monitoring Africa, was flabbergasted that money kept being ploughed into legal processes that “hamper and delay the eventual turn of the wheels of justice”.

It was offensive to the public, he noted.

“It’s only on planet banana bread that Motsoeneng should be occupying any role at the SABC,” he said.

His advice to the SABC was to stop spending money on futile legal challenges and instead spend it on rooting out those who had threatened employees.

The Democratic Alliance said it welcomed the judgment, which proved Motsoeneng was not fit to hold office.

“The DA also welcomes the fact that Motsoeneng and his toxic influence will now be removed from the SABC, until such time as he has either faced a satisfactory disciplinary hearing and/or the findings and remedial action by the public protector have been reviewed and set aside by another court.”

It was high time that the SABC ceased “frivolous litigation at the expense of the South African taxpayer” and focused on fixing the broadcaster, as well as repairing “the damage Mr Motsoeneng caused during his reign of terror”

For more news your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter.

Read more on these topics