Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Democratic Alliance wants a legal review of the 'sham' disciplinary hearing of SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng; says it was a whitewash.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) political party is seeking a legal review of the disciplinary hearing of the SABC's controversial chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng that took place at the end of last year, saying it was a sham.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng was found not guilty in mid-December on the 3 charges that remained in in a bizarre disciplinary hearing that saw multiple prosecutor and chairperson changes, several postponements, a cancellation, and continuation, the strange scrapping of charges from the charge sheet and witnesses not called and dismissed.

The DA says "we have asked for the transcript of the hearing and it is our intention to take it on review. It was a sham. Key witnesses were not called. There is no way that any court will regard the disciplinary hearing as having been reasonable. There were serious allegations made by the Public Protector".

"Hlaudi Motsoeneng's disciplinary hearing has been exposed to be the whitewash we always suspected it would be".

"In addition to seeking access to the transcript, the DA will take this decision on legal review on the grounds that it makes a mockery of the rule of law, the Public Protector's report and judge Dennis Davis' judgement".

While a Constitutional Court legal fight around the suspension of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as it pertains to his disciplinary hearing is now mute, another legal case is set to continue this year - the one between the Democratic Alliance and Hlaudi Motsoeneng over his permanent appointment as COO at the SABC.

The Western Cape High Court in November 2015 ruled that the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng should be set aside. This judgement is being appealed and will continue this year.

The Democratic Alliance said that Hlaudi Motsoeneng's appointment was irrational and unlawful, given the scathing report on maladministration at the SABC directly implication Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and which was released in February 2014.

The Public Protector's report, When Governance and Ethics Fail, found that Hlaudi Motsoeneng had lied about having a matric, that his salary had risen from R1.5 million to R2.4 million in one year, and implicated him in the purging of senior SABC staff.

The Western Cape High Court found that Faith Muthambi, the minister of communcations, failed to properly apply her mind about Hlaudi Motsoeneng's appointment and "ignored a binding set of findings which required immediate remedial attention".