Wednesday, February 17, 2016

SABC's technology boss Sipho Masinga loses his court case seeking relief against the SABC over his suspension and disciplinary hearing.

The SABC's suspended technology boss Sipho Masinga has lost his court case seeking relief against the SABC after the public broadcaster's decision to start disciplinary action against him and to fire him.

The SABC suspended Siphokuhle Masinga in November 2014 at the same time as he handed in a scathing report at the time about the shocking state of SABC infrastructure, noting in the internal report that the SABC's technology and infrastructure is in such a dilapidated state and in such an aging state and disrepair that "broadcasting disruptions can now happen at any time, any place".

According to Sipho Masinga's report, it would cost the SABC at least R2 billion in infrastructure and technology investment to bring the SABC's technology and aging infrastructure up to date.

He was suspended.

Sipho Masinga has since brought an application in the Western Cape High Court in which he claimed that the letter from Hlaudi Motsoeneng advising him of his suspension and that disciplinary action will be taken against him was invalid since only the SABC board can do that.

Sipho Masinga claimed that he was illegally suspended by Hlaudi Motsoeneng who was using the new powers afforded him in a revised memorandum of incorporation (MOI) that was signed and introduced by Faith Muthambi, the minister of communications.

"The SABC, my employer, instituted disciplinary action against me based on an invalid and unregistered MOI that was adopted by the current minister of communications on September 20 2014, said Sipho Masinga.

Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe ruled that Sipho Masinga didn't provide proof that it was Hlaudi Motsoeneng who initiated the disciplinary action against him.

The letter indicated that an external legal expert was appointed as evidence leader in Sipho Masinga's disciplinary hearing.

According to Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe the SABC also proved that the decision to start a disciplinary hearing against Sipho Masinga had the approval of the SABC board chairperson at the time.