Thursday, July 10, 2014

Communications minister Faith Muthambi mired in firestorm of criticism over matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng's SABC COO appointment.

South Africa's new minister of communications Faith Muthambi is mired in a firestorm of criticism following the sudden and ridiculous appointment of the famously matricless and highly controversial Hlaudi Motsoeneng as permanent chief operating officer (COO) at the beleaguered SABC.

Speaking at a media briefing today, Faith Muthambi called the matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng's appointment "rational" and alleged - without providing the documents or naming the firm - that an independent law firm found that there was nothing wrong with appointing him in the position permanently.

The position of SABC COO was never advertised.

The Public Protector, in a damning report released in February, also found that Hlaudi Motsoeneng "should never have been appointed at the SABC" in the first place, although he has been serving as acting COO for two and a half years.

The Public Protector implicated Hlaudi Motsoeneng in maladministration and mismanagement, and in a recorded interview he admitted that he lied about having a matric certificate and falsified symbols for a matric certificate he knew he couldn't produce.

"There was nothing before me that suggested that I should not confirm the appointment. The SABC board is in the final stage of collating all the necessary information to forward such to the Public Protector," said Faith Muthambi.

She didn't say why she was present on Monday evening when the SABC board were suddenly forced to vote in a seven to five vote to permanently appoint Hlaudi Motsoeneng as SABC COO.

"I believe that the board has exercised due diligence. I respect the independence of the SABC board and I don’t need to interfere," said Faith Muthambi.

"The appointment of the independent law firm by the SABC board to investigate all the issues raised by the public protector was the most responsible way to deal with the public protector's report," said Faith Muthambi.

"Faith Muthambi claimed today that the SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng had been cleared of any wrongdoing by an independent law firm. Her belief that a legal report from a private law firm can trump a report of the Public Protector is bizarre and unprecedented," said Gavin Davis, the Democratic Alliance (DA) political party's shadow minister of communications in a statement.

"Faith Muthambi must appear in parliament to answer a rangeof unanswered questions surrounding the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng. In particular, she must produce the report of the private law firm. If she is so confident that it clears Hlaudi Motsoeneng's name, she should have no problem with releasing it for public scrutiny," said Gavin Davis.