Disciplinary Hearing Finds Hlaudi Motsoeneng Guilty

An internal disciplinary hearing finds former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng guilty of comments he made at a media briefing in April and for playing a role in SA financial crisis

The former SABC COO who was charged with contravening the terms of his suspension when he held a media briefing in April, was found guilty at the hearing on Monday.

According to a source who witnessed the ruling, Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s charges were linked to his recent press briefing on April 19 where he defended his highly criticised “90% local content” policy.

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The policy is said to have drained the broadcaster of its financial stability leading to the current financial crisis confronting it now.

Motsoeneng has suffered one court defeat after another.

Prior to the disciplinary’s final decision on Hlaudi, Chairperson of the disciplinary hearing‚ Nazeer Cassim‚ heard final arguments from both parties pertaining to allegations levelled against Motsoeneng in Sandton‚ Johannesburg on Friday evening.

Haludi also criticised the parliamentary ad-hoc committee charged with looking at the former board and interim board member Krish Naidoo.

When asked for comment, Cassim said he had released the report early on Monday, and only the SABC would make the announcement and while the SABC is yet to officially make an announcement pertaining the matter, it is understood that the interim board will today have a meeting to discuss the ruling by disciplinary hearings chair advocate Nazeer Cassim.

SABC spokesperson Kaiser Kganyago told news media that he had not yet seen the report and would only comment at a later stage.

Western Cape High Court Judge Owen Rogers ruled in December 2016 that Motsoeneng could not work at the SABC at all, unless Madonsela’s report was set aside or a new disciplinary hearing cleared him of wrongdoing.

He is appealing that judgment.

In November 2015, the Western Cape High Court declared his appointment as chief operations officer irrational and illegal and set it aside. The court denied him leave to appeal.

In September 2016, the Supreme Court of Appeal also denied him leave to appeal

In May this year, the Labour Court denied his application to stop the current disciplinary hearings and for Cassim to recuse himself.

Though Hlaudi Motsoeneng could not be reached for comment after the ruling, his legal representative Advocate Andy Bester made earlier comments that sounded like he is sure his client would be victorious.

He said there was no merit for the case as the embattled former SABC employee had sought permission from a higher authority to speak in his personal capacity.

“He asked permission from his employer and Mr [James] Aguma (suspended acting SABC chief executive) is the only person who could have given him permission at the time. The fact is whether the current (SABC) interim board agrees with what Mr Aguma did or not‚ is a separate matter. We have gathered they don’t like it‚ they don’t agree‚” argued Bester.

“The point is Mr Motsoeneng did the responsible thing and he went to his superior who is also the ultimate executive decision maker at the SABC‚ raised the issue with him and explained his situation and asked for permission to address a press conference and he was given that permission,” Bester said.

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The legal representative argued that Motsoeneng had not breached his employment contract by addressing the media conference as he was speaking in his personal capacity.

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