6 September 2017

South Africa: SABC 8 - Hlaudi Motsoeneng Loses His Friends in Court

analysis

Wednesday was a bad day for Hlaudi Motsoeneng. The former SABC boss, who is being held accountable in court for the legal costs of firing employees who opposed his policies last year, had no friends left. He is fast becoming irrelevant and might face a hefty bill on the way. By GREG NICOLSON.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng sat in the first row of the Johannesburg Labour Court on Wednesday. Behind him sat supporters from the Friends of Hlaudi group and the Black First Land First Movement. In front, at the lawyers' benches, Motsoeneng was abandoned or betrayed by all but his own counsel.

The Labour Court last year ruled that the firing of multiple SABC employees over their objection to Motsoeneng's policy not to show footage of violent protests was illegal and reckless. The union Solidarity, which has joined forces with the Broadcasting Electronic Media Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) and together represent seven of the eight fired journalists, went to court to ensure that the individuals responsible, rather than the taxpayer through the SABC, pay the costs for the case.

While the SABC, before it appointed a new board, had backed Motsoeneng, known for treating the public broadcaster as a fiefdom, on...

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