Motsoeneng considers suing

2014-08-08 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The SABC’s chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng is considering suing the Public Protector (PP) for crimen injuria.

In an affidavit that Motsoeneng handed in at the high court in Cape Town yesterday in answer to the DA’s urgent application to have him dismissed, he denied any guilt. He said the case against him was politically motivated and he is the victim of a smear campaign.

The PP in February found Motsoeneng was appointed irregularly at the SABC; had lied about the fact that he did not have matric and had acted irregularly in giving himself a large salary increase.

Motsoeneng said he did not exclude the possibility of legal action against the PP for her “libellous and faulty findings” against him. He said the PP’s report contained wrong and false statements and was full of spelling errors.

He denied that he ever admitted to the PP that he had lied to the SABC over his lack of a matric and said the broadcaster was satisfied with his qualifications after he had completed a journalism course at the Thomson Foundation in 1995.

He said it would be unfair to suspend him, dismiss him or institute disciplinary steps against him as this would create the impression that he is guilty.

He specifically denied committing any fraud or abusing his position for personal gain to the detriment of the broadcaster.

His appointment was not irrational, illegal or invalid, he said.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi also filed court papers.

In her affidavit she maintains she did not prescribe to the SABC board to appoint Motsoeneng permanently. The board recommended him in writing and she rubber stamped the decision.

She said she was concerned about the PP’s damning findings against Motsoeneng, but was reassured by:

• A transcription of a discussion between Motsoeneng and the PP in which they discussed his qualifications;

• A report from Mchunu attorneys that excuses Motsoeneng; and

• A letter in which Lulama Mokhobo, former CEO of the SABC who had laid a charges against Motsoeneng at the PP, recommended that Motsoeneng be appointed permanently.

Muthambi said Motsoeneng had the necessary experience and expertise for the post and denied her appointment of him was irrational or illegal.

Both asked the court to decline the application with costs.

• Sources yesterday denied to sister paper Beeld that Mokhobo ever wrote such a motivational letter.

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