News / South Africa / State Capture

Makhosandile Zulu
3 minute read
10 Sep 2019
1:40 pm

Hlaudi suggests a woman confused him into accidentally claiming he had matric

Makhosandile Zulu

After stating on a form that he had a Standard 10 qualification, Motsoeneng was repeatedly asked for the paperwork, and has been accused of making up his own marks.

Former SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng testifies at the State Capture Commission in Parktown, 10 September 2019. Picture: Neil McCartney

Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has told the chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that he should not have taken the advice of a certain Maree Swanepoel, who worked for the public broadcaster, when completing a form in which he stated that the highest standard he had passed was “10”.

Motsoeneng told Zondo that he was appointed on a permanent basis at the SABC in 1995 and that, following his appointment he was required to complete a form in which he indeed stated that the highest standard he had passed was 10, acting on advice from Swanepoel.

However, he said he had been honest from the onset that he had not passed his standard 10 (now matric), adding that the form required him to also complete the symbols he had obtained for the subjects he had done at school.

Motsoeneng said because he was uncertain about the symbols, he went to Pretoria to check the correct ones and that, on his return, Swanepoel wrote on the form that the matric certificate was “outstanding”.

A collection of subject symbols that he apparently claimed were his was presented at the commission, but they were apparently not legitimate. Nevertheless, when added up, they resulted in a pass.

Motsoeneng has been accused of making up the symbols himself.

Chair, I have written matric supplementary exams many times but because I was working at the same time. I didn’t have time to go to class, so I failed many times. I tried to combine my symbols but unfortunately I didn’t make it.”

At one point, Zondo asked Motsoeneng if he had claimed to get a “J” in one of his subjects, which is not a real education symbol.

Evidence leader at the commission on Tuesday advocate Thandi Norman tabled a few letters from the SABC human resource department addressed to Motsoeneng inquiring about the progress of his obtaining the matric certificate.

The first letter is dated March 27, 1996, and it makes mention that Motsoeneng had undertaken to obtain the certificate and further points out that a failure to do so would impede his career prospects within the SABC.

The second letter was addressed to Motsoeneng in 1999 requesting that he provide a copy of his matric certificate as soon as possible.

Another letter about the same issue was sent to Motsoeneng in 2000.

Zondo questioned Motsoeneng whether he was certain that, when he was appointed in 1995, the position he was appointed to did not require a matric certificate, as he had testified.

“I’m sure, chair,” Motsoeneng responded.

He added: “And also, chairman, there are many people in the SABC without matric … at the SABC you look at talent.”

Former SABC board chair Dr Ben Ngubane told the commission on Monday that many within the SABC were without a matric certificate.

Motsoeneng said most of the individuals working for the broadcaster who were not in possession of a matric certificate were excelling because of talent and not education.

Zondo told Motsoeneng that he, the commission’s chair, did not need convincing that someone who did not have a formal education may be bright, smart and, or talented.

“I would not look down on a person just because they do not have a formal education,” Zondo agreed.

However, the chairperson said that if the policy of an organisation stated that for certain positions one must have a qualification, there must be compliance with said policy.

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