2 June 2017

South Africa: Hlaudi Motsoeneng's Disciplinary Hearing to Resume

Photo: SABC
Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng (file photo).

Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng's disciplinary hearing is expected to continue on Friday.

He faces charges of bringing the broadcaster into disrepute, following a media briefing he held on April 19.

At the last hearing, the SABC argued that Motsoeneng's behaviour warranted immediate dismissal.

His lawyers argued that the SABC's parallel hearings into his conduct were unfair.

Motsoeneng's lawyer Andy Bester had asked for a postponement pending his client's appeal against a Western Cape High Court ruling in December 2016. Judge Owen Rogers ruled at the time that Motsoeneng could not work at the SABC in any capacity unless former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's February 2014 report was set aside, or a new disciplinary hearing cleared him of wrongdoing.

Madonsela found that Motsoeneng lied about having matric when he first applied to work at the SABC, that he purged senior staff, and hiked his salary from R1.5m to R2.4m.

Rogers said a previous disciplinary hearing by the SABC, which cleared him of all charges, was "wholly inadequate".

Motsoeneng has suffered one court defeat after another.

In November 2015, the Western Cape High Court declared his appointment as COO 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 dismissed his application to have his disciplinary hearing stopped and for its chairperson to recuse himself.

During the last sitting, Thembeka Ngcukaitobi, for the SABC, said Motsoeneng maligned the broadcaster's newly-appointed board during his April 19 briefing.

He had expressed disapproval of some of the new board members and criticised management's decision to scrap his instruction that 90% of the music aired by the broadcaster's radio stations should be locally produced.

He was later charged with breaching the relationship of trust with the board and bringing the public broadcaster into disrepute.

Bester argued that acting CEO James Aguma authorised the briefing.

Ngcukaitobi said Aguma only gave permission for Motsoeneng to hold a briefing to correct a statement by the parliamentary ad hoc committee which looked into the SABC board's fitness to hold office.

Source: News24

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