SABC defends Motsoeneng

2012-04-20 16:02
Johannesburg - The SABC on Friday said its acting chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng had never lied about his qualifications to the corporation.

"He did not lie to us when he was appointed [in 1995 as a reporter]," SABC chairperson Ben Ngubane told reporters in Johannesburg.

Earlier this year, media reports asserted that Motsoeneng would be appointed COO despite not having a matric certificate.

Regarding Motsoeneng's dismissal in 2007, Ngubane said this had nothing to do with his qualifications.

He said Motsoeneng was dismissed while at Lesedi FM because he had fallen out with a former CEO at the broadcaster.

But he had successfully appealed his dismissal and was reinstated.

Ngubane said many people at the SABC knew Motsoeneng.

Spreading rumours

"It is unfortunate no one bothered to listen to them," he said.

He accused the media of spreading rumours.

"It looks to me like people in the media don't want to hear the truth," he said.

Alwyn Kloppers from SABC news resources said he had known Motsoeneng since 1995 when he was a news stringer in the eastern Free State.

"At the time, we were busy with transformation [at the SABC]. We were looking for talent countrywide," he said.

Kloppers said he had brought Motsoeneng to the attention of the Bloemfontein newsroom. Motsoeneng was subsequently appointed to permanent staff in March 1995.

"I asked him about his qualifications and he told me he did not have a matric," Kloppers said.

Never been an issue

Impressed by his commitment and passion, Kloppers recommended Motsoeneng despite his lack of formal education.

"There has never been an issue about his qualifications," Kloppers said.

Ngubane said Motsoeneng had written his matric exams in the same year that he was permanently appointed to the broadcaster but later discovered he had failed.

However, he received a diploma from the University of Johannesburg, and had attended other courses during his time at the SABC.

"He has proven that he can rise to the occasion," Ngubane said.

He had received a letter from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela regarding Motsoeneng but the details had been unclear.

According to the letter, Motsoeneng had fired 14 senior executives but Ngubane said this was not the case.

Achievements

The only similar case Motsoeneng had been involved in concerned a regional manager in Mpumalanga whose dismissal had been recommended by a disciplinary committee, Ngubane said.

"We are still waiting for clarity from the public protector," he said.

Ngubane said the board had been impressed by Motsoeneng's achievements.

He had been promoted by former CEO Solly Mokoetle.

Motsoeneng had suggested that provincial managers in the SABC be given greater autonomy so as to avoid inefficiency in procurement. In addition, he had successfully engaged with unions.

Last year, Motsoeneng also found that Mercedes Benz vehicles leased to the SABC had been improperly acquired.

He then negotiated with Daimler Fleet Management to save R20m for the SABC, Ngubane said.

Ngubane dismissed concerns about Motsoeneng's lack of qualifications.

He said that although the broadcaster's CEO should be highly qualified, and the chief financial officer should be a chartered accountant, the post of COO was different, as it was focused on implementation.

The main qualification for this position was an ability to run the SABC effectively.
- SAPA
Read more on:    sabc  |  hlaudi motsoeneng  |  media
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