Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

10 July 2014

South Africa: Comet Motsoaneng

analysis

Hlaudi Motsoeneng is the new, permanent Chief Operating Officer of the SABC. All hail the new COO, then. Or not. Even by the standards of our "public" broadcaster, he is someone who has created more controversy than just about anyone else. He is, to use his phrase, the "engine room" of the corporation. Which is why just about every controversy going attaches to him. The fact that he has been appointed, the outcry, the way in which it was actually done, and the way forward from here, are all going to reveal an awful lot about how power really works in this country, and about why when the wrong thing happens, you have to have deep pockets and lawyers on call to put it right.

When rumours first circulated that Motsoeneng was being given some big job, they were denied. But then the new communications minister herself, Faith Muthambi, made a public statement. Public, in that a piece of sound of her speaking was uploaded only onto the SABC's website. In that statement she confirmed the SABC board had decided to appoint Motsoeneng to the position permanently (he had been there in an acting capacity slightly longer...

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