ANC: We will continue supporting Public Protector

2014-10-26 13:05

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The ANC has noted the court ruling suspending SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng and the clarity it gave about the Public Protector’s powers, saying it continued to support the Chapter Nine institution.

“Having noted the clarification provided by the Western High Court, the ANC reaffirms its support and confidence in the office of the Public Protector, our Chapter Nine institution accountable to Parliament,” spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement today.

“We trust that our Members of Parliament will continue to promote and defend the integrity and sanctity of this important institution in the discharge of its duties.”

Western Cape High Court Judge Ashton Schippers on Friday ordered that the SABC suspend Motsoeneng and start disciplinary proceedings against him within 14 days.

This followed the Democratic Alliance’s application for an urgent interim interdict suspending Motsoeneng, pending a review of the decision to appoint him.

In his order Schippers said: “Unlike an order or decision of a court, a finding by the Public Protector is not binding on persons and organs of state.

“However, the fact that the findings of and remedial action taken by the Public Protector are not binding decisions, does not mean that these findings and remedial action are mere recommendations, which an organ of state may accept or reject.”

In February, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report on Motsoeneng, while he was acting COO. She found his salary increased from R1.5 million to R2.4m in one year, that he had purged senior staff, and misrepresented his matric qualifications to the SABC. Madonsela recommended that a new COO be appointed at the SABC within 90 days.

In July, Muthambi announced Motsoeneng’s permanent appointment.

On Friday, the ANC Chief Whip’s office and the DA claimed the judgment vindicated their opposing views on whether the Public Protector’s findings were binding. This had been central to the controversy over security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home.

In her report on Nkandla, Madonsela had recommended that Zuma repay part of the R246m spent on so-called security upgrades to his private home.

Madonsela said on Friday she would take the part of the SABC court judgment relating to her office’s constitutional powers on review.

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