Axed SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng To Challenge His Dismissal
SABC former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng will challenge his dismissal from the public broadcaster.
The strongman was axed on Monday following his comments at a media briefing in April, at which he criticized SABC board members and the parliamentary committee investigating the state of governance at the broadcaster.
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The soap opera at SABC was triggered by Hlaudi’s emergence as the most powerful and feared ‘entity’ at SABC. He reportedly intimidated staff, among other wrong behavior when he was still SABC employee.
In 2014, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela made serious adverse findings against Motsoeneng and the SABC Board.
She held among other things that:
- Motsoeneng’s appointment as Acting Chief Operating Officer (COO) was irregular. She found that Dr. Ngubane, who was SABC board chair at the time, altered the qualification requirements for the appointment previously advertised in order to accommodate Motsoeneng’s ‘weak’ qualifications.
- Motsoeneg unlawfully received three salary increases in a single year.
- He lied in 1995 in his application form that he had completed his matric.
- Motsoeneng repeated the lie in 2003 when he applied for the post of Executive Producer.
Despite the aforementioned abnormalities, the SABC went ahead and appointed Motsoeneng to the permanent position of COO – the appointment was later declared unlawful and invalid by the court.
On Wednesday, Hlaudi’s lawyer Zola Majavu told reporters that he has been instructed to prepare a challenge against the damning ruling.
Zola disclosed that Hlaudi would meet with his legal team on Monday to discuss in what form they would challenge it.
“He wants to challenge the ruling and I suggested that we meet on Monday once we have both applied our minds to the matter and discuss the exact points we will challenge. I will consult with him and once a decision has been made, he will instruct me accordingly,” he added.
On Tuesday, Hlaudi Motsoeneng declined to comment on his plans when he was approached by reporters. He simply said: “I don’t want to talk about my future or my plans because my focus right now is on this legal matter.”
Currently, the SABC is battling a whopping R509 million loss and the implementation of Hlaudi’s 90% local music and 80% local content quotas on SABC3 is said to be a major cause.
The cash-strapped public broadcaster’s R509 million loss is almost four times the budgeted loss of R137-million in the fourth quarter of the 2016-2017 financial year.
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SABC interim board chairman Khanyisile Kweyama announced on Tuesday that Hlaudi Motsoeneng will not receive payout but would rather serve a month’s notice period before waving the SABC goodbye.