DA keeping watch to see if Hlaudi Motsoeneng arrives for work after court ruling
Beleaguered SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng might have another ace up his sleeve after the High Court in Cape Town removed him from his cushy job.
The DA will be watching closely to see whether he pitches for work after lunch on Monday.
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said lawyers were poring over the judgment "line by line".
The DA succeeded in its bid to have the controversial group executive of corporate affairs removed from his post, and to have a fresh disciplinary process instituted against him.
"I am told that our lawyers are studying the judgment and they will give us advice after studying the judgment‚" said Kganyago.
"They are going through it line by line. At this point we cannot comment further than that."
The court action emanated from former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s 2014 report.
Madonsela found that Motsoeneng had abused his power and increased his salary from R1.5m to R2.4m within a year.
Madonsela’s other damning findings included that Motsoeneng lied about his matric qualifications, irregularly increased salaries of various staff members and bloated the SABC’s salary bill.
In motivation for Motsoeneng’s removal‚ the DA said he was an "unethical‚ manipulative fraudster who has destroyed any semblance of good cooperate governance at the SABC".
But Motsoeneng said his employment at the SABC had been beneficial to the broadcaster.
"I highlight that on my appointment as acting chief operations officer in 2011‚ I led a turnaround strategy that (overturned) the SABC’s dismal financial state, which had reached levels of requiring National Treasury to provide it with a R1bn guarantee‚ and in the process saved over 800 jobs‚" he said.
"Indeed‚ I mention that the first time the SABC realised any profit was in 2013 under my stewardship when the SABC ended the financial year with a positive cash balance of R1.4bn. I remain competent and able to discharge a function."
The High Court set aside the findings of the SABC board’s disciplinary hearing, which exonerated Motsoeneng in December last year.
A new disciplinary process will now commence and his appointment as the group executive for corporate affairs was also set aside.
James Selfe‚ the DA’s federal executive chairperson‚ welcomed the ruling.
He said his party had lodged seven court actions to stop Motsoeneng from holding a top position at the SABC since 2014. Selfe said the DA had spent R4m‚ the bulk of which the SABC paid after losing the cases.
"We are very happy about this (ruling)‚" said Selfe. "We are just a little concerned that this might land in further appeals.
"Our view is that if he (Motsoeneng) pitches up for work this afternoon after lunch, or if he pitches up for work tomorrow, he will be acting illegally and in contempt of court."
TMG Digital/Cape Newsroom