6 September 2017

South Africa: Hlaudi Motsoeneng Due to Appear in the Labour Court

Photo: SABC
Hlaudi Motsoeneng, SABC Chief Operating Officer.

Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng is expected to appear in the Johannesburg Labour Court on Wednesday to explain why he should not be held personally liable for the wrongful dismissal of the SABC 8.

The eight journalists - Suna Venter, Foeta Krige, Krivani Pillay, Thandeka Gqubule, Busisiwe Ntuli, Lukhanyo Calata, Vuyo Mvoko and Jacques Steenkamp - were fired by the public broadcaster in July 2016 for criticising Motsoeneng's policy against the airing of footage of violent protests.

Seven of the eight journalists were subsequently rehired following a High Court ruling.

Trade unions Solidarity and the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) brought the matter against Motsoeneng, the SABC's former head of news Simon Tebele and the public broadcaster in March following the SABC 8's reinstatement.

Solidarity and Bemawu are asking that the three be held responsible for the SABC 8's legal action against the SABC.

At their previous appearance in August, the court heard that attorneys from Ningiza Horner, who were representing the SABC, Motsoeneng and Tebele, had withdrawn from the matter.

Tebele, who said he was surprised by the attorneys' decision to withdraw, asked for a postponement due to poor health.

No reasons were given for why Motsoeneng failed to appear in court.

Motsoeneng was removed as COO after the Supreme Court of Appeal in September last year rejected his bid to appeal the Western Cape High Court's November 2015 ruling declaring his appointment irrational and setting it aside.

In June, the SABC announced Motsoeneng's dismissal after he was found guilty by an internal disciplinary hearing where charges of bringing the SABC into disrepute and causing irreparable damage to his employer were investigated.

The internal disciplinary committee found that he lied about his qualifications, that he purged the SABC of staff and promoted staff and raised salaries without following the correct procedures.

News24

South Africa

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