Wednesday, July 16, 2014

High Court action launched over SABC's shocking appointment of matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng as permanent COO.

The Gauteng High Court is going to have to review the controversial and shocking permanent appointment by the SABC board and the new minister of communications Faith Muthambi of the controversial and famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng as chief operating officer (COO) at the SABC.

The SABC's biggest trade union, Bemawu has already filed a dispute as well with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) over the appointment which has been met with universal condemnation and criticism.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) political party announced that an application has been made with the Gauteng High Court to have Hlaudi Motsoeneng's permanent appointment be reviewed and set aside.

The SABC never advertised the position - the last time it was advertised was in January 2012. Hlaudi Motsoeneng also lied about having a matric certificate and made up symbols for subjects for a certificate he knew he couldn't produce.

In a damning report from South Africa's Public Protector released in February this year, the Public Protector said "Hlaudi Motsoeneng should never have been appointed at the SABC". He has been serving as acting COO for the past two and a half years.

The Public Protector also found that Hlaudi Motsoeneng is directly implicated in maladministration and irregular spending at the SABC, which included three salary increases for himself from R1.5 million to R2,4 million.

In a recorded interview with the Public Protector Hlaudi Motsoeneng admitted that he lied about about having a matric and that he made up symbols for a certificate he knew he couldn't produce.

The Public Protector also found that Hlaudi Motsoeneng was involved in the dismissal of all of the people who testified against him in a disciplinary hearing; "purged" other SABC senior staff which cost the SABC millions of rands in payouts, and increased the salaries of other SABC staff which ballooned the SABC's salary bill by R29 million.

The process of serving papers on the new minister of communications, Faith Muthambi, and the SABC board for the court case has begun.

"The SABC board and the minister of communications do not appear t have considered the findings of the Public Protector," says the DA political party in a statement.

"Appointing someone who was known to be dishonest and willing to abuse his power could never be rational. This is especially true in this case. The Broadcasting Act requires the SABC COO to be committed to openness and accountability, and to the principles of the SABC Charter, including good governance," says the DA political party.

"Who runs the SABC is the business of every South African. It is in the interest of all South Africans that the irrational appointment of a man like Hlaudi Motsoeneng to run the public broadcaster be reviewed and corrected".

"We must act now to correct the destructive course the SABC is on by confronting the mismanagement of our public broadcaster".