Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has denied playing a role in irregular appointments at the public broadcaster.
“I have pain about this malicious gathering of information because it is incorrect that I appointed people irregularly,” Motsoeneng on Thursday told the chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
On August 20, the SABC filed an application with the labour court to have the irregular appointments declared unlawful, invalid, and set aside.
SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu said in a statement at the time: “These are appointments that are deemed to have been effected without following relevant SABC policies.”
Mthembu said the court application followed recommendations in the public protector’s report and the parliamentary ad hoc committee as well as the SABC’s internal investigation.
Mthembu said 28 cases had been identified and that further investigations may reveal other irregular appointments.
“All affected parties will be afforded an opportunity to oppose the application,” Mthembu said.
Motsoeneng on Thursday denied appointing employees irregularly, saying the custodian of appointments at the SABC was the HR department.
“So there is no way that Hlaudi can wake up in the morning and appoint someone,” Motsoeneng told Zondo.
He added that evidence placed before the commission would show that he did not appoint anyone and that former SABC CEO Lulama Mokhobo and the HR department had signed off on those appointments as well as on salary increments.
Motsoeneng said this and being blamed for other challenges at the SABC gave the impression that, during his time at the corporation, there was no board, no group CEO, or management.
“You have professors there, you have lawyers. Are these people stupid to be taken by a matric-less guy?” Motsoeneng said, adding that it was malicious and misleading to blame everything on him.
Motsoeneng said he was of the view that the board, CEO, and management at the SABC were not respected because the impression given was that the broadcaster was his company.