THE BIG DEBATE BURSTS BACK - WITH REDI TLHABI

Thursday, February 20, 2014

BREAKING. Matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng says Public Protector report is part of a smear campaign to get him out of the SABC.


The SABC's famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng says the scathing report from the Public Protector released on Monday is part of a smear campaign to get him out of the SABC and that the Public Protector's report relies too much on documentation.

Flanked by his lawyer Zola Majavu, Hlaudi Motsoeneng faced some of South Africa's press today for the first time since the Public Protector's damning report on the SABC and Hlaudi Motsoeneng which found widespread maladministration, fraud, abuse of power and irregular appointments and firings at the public broadcaster.

The Public Protector recommended that Hlaudi Motsoeneng be replaced by a more qualified person and said Hlaudi Motsoeneng "should never have been appointed" at the SABC.

Spotted in the press corps - actress Sophie Ndaba, known for her role as Queen in SABC1's soap Generations.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng who held the press conference today in his personal capacity and not as part of the SABC, and who left most of the talking to his lawyer Zola Majavu, says the Public Protector's report is part of an attempt to have him removed from the SABC.

Zola Majavu said they plan on taking the Public Protector's report "all the way to the Constitutional court".

"Are you still the COO? The acting COO?" asked Zola Majavu as he turned to Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

"Of course," bragged Hlaudi Motsoeneng as he laughed.

According to Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Zola Majavu, the Public Protector's report is "not gospel" and relies too heavily on documentation.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng said "Hlaudi is stronger, Hlaudi is happy, I'm focusing on my work at the SABC which I do best".

Following the press conference, Zola Majavu went on the daily Question Time talk show on SABC News (DStv 404) to answer questions from Mpho Tsedu.

Here Zola Majavu went on long, almost never interrupted, rants on behalf of Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

"Does Hlaudi Motsoeneng believe that he's qualified to be acting in the position that he is?" asked Mpho Tsedu.

"He says if I was incompetent explain to me why would I move from being an announcer to being number two in this corporation? Whether or not he has the academic qualifications is a different matter," said Zola Majavu.

"He says 'I have been acting'. Not only for three months. I've been acting for over two years. If I was that useless why am I not removed? He is still the acting chief operating officer (COO)," said Zola Majavu.

In a statement issued on Thursday by the SABC, the SABC chairperson Zandile Tshabalala says "the SABC is not in a crisis". The SABC says the SABC board met on Wednesday over the Public Protector's report.

"The SABC board has received the Public Protector's report and has committed to review it further, seeking legal advice and also consult all relevant parties before taking any action".