News / South Africa / State Capture

Makhosandile Zulu
2 minute read
9 Sep 2019
3:12 pm

Ngubane tells Zondo he did not alter job ad to suit Motsoeneng

Makhosandile Zulu

The witness says the board had not handled the job advertisement and that it was handled by management.

Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng is pictured during a press briefing in Johannesburg, 13 December 2018, announcing his new political party the African Content Movement. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Former SABC board chair Dr Ben Ngubane told the chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that he did not alter the job advertisement for SABC COO to accommodate Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

“I never handled any advert, I don’t know who said this to the public protector,” Ngubane said.

Ngubane said when the COO vacancy had to be advertised, he had suggested that a previous advertisement should be used.

Evidence leader at the commission on Monday advocate Thandi Norman read a section of the public protector’s report on the SABC in which former SABC CEO Lulama Mokhobo told the public protector that Ngubane had been adamant that the requirement for tertiary qualifications should not be reflected on the job advertisement.

Ngubane said the board had not dealt with the job advertisement which was handled by management at the SABC.

Ngubane told the commission that Motsoeneng was headhunted from the SABC in the Free State for the sterling work he had done there and was appointed SABC executive manager for stakeholder management.

He said Motsoeneng was appointed to the position for his “people skills”.

Ngubane also told the commission that at some point Motsoeneng attended board meetings so that he could communicate the board’s decisions with staff.

He invited Motsoeneng to attend board meetings because at the time there was a lack of trust between the board and the group CEO.

However, Motsoeneng was not part of decision making, he did not vote, but could make input during these board meetings, Ngubane said.

“We were dealing with very critical issues,” Ngubane said, adding that Motsoeneng could provide the information that the board needed.

Motsoeneng held discussions with unions at the time as workers were resisting the turnaround strategy that was implemented because they felt their jobs would be threatened.

“So the workers had to be persuaded to see that all we were trying to do is secure the SABC and to secure their jobs,” Ngubane said.

Zondo questioned why the vacancy for the executive manager for stakeholder management had not been advertised because if there was confidence in Motsoeneng, then he would have successfully secured the job.

Ngubane responded by saying there was pressure to fill the position timeously.

Zondo said failure to advertise the position could have opened up a situation where power was abused.

Ngubane later announced that Motsoeneng would act in the position of COO as from November 15, 2011.

Motsoeneng was later appointed as COO even though he did not have a matric certificate and a tertiary qualification.

Watch the proceedings live courtesy of the SABC:

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