DA has not proved Motsoeneng is bad for the SABC - lawyer

2016-11-23 18:36
Hlaudi Motsoeneng (Felix Dlanagamandla, Netwerk24)

Hlaudi Motsoeneng (Felix Dlanagamandla, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - The DA has not provided any facts to prove that former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng is a danger to the state broadcaster, his lawyer said in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

"There is a lot of speculation, but no fact," Advocate Andy Bester argued in Motsoeneng's personal capacity against the application to have him kicked out of the SABC.

He said that, contrary to popular belief, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela did not recommend that Motsoeneng be forced out of his job, or any other job at the SABC, which the DA wanted the court to order.

Bester said the DA's demand that he be sacked was nothing more than an attempt to "backdoor" its own additions to her report, When Governance and Ethics Fail, which was released in February 2014.

The Public Protector required the SABC to implement her findings, and to deal with Motsoeneng, he said.

This meant a disciplinary inquiry.

Judicial review

The inquiry was held, and he was cleared, said Bester.

He said nowhere in Madonsela's report did it say he must not be employed at the SABC in any capacity.

Bester said there would be a judicial review of the report and there would be another disciplinary hearing for his client.

Even though a parliamentary ad hoc committee was looking into the matter, he said, the DA still could not wait a few months for it to be finalised.

Bester said there was a total lack of understanding of the authority of the findings of a Public Protector's report.

The Constitutional Court ruled in President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla matter on March 31 that the office's reports were binding.

Violating court procedure

However, Bester said current Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane had written an affidavit for the current application. She emphasised that Motsoeneng's appointment to a position of authority or leadership would be improper until the SABC's review application had been finalised.

"With the greatest respect to the Public Protector, that is simply an opinion," said Bester.

Madonsela's report did not specifically say he could not be appointed, or should be sacked.

Bester said the DA claimed to have high regard for due process in its claim that the SABC's handling of the Motsoeneng matter had been a "charade" partly driven by Motsoeneng himself, yet it did not serve court papers on Motsoeneng for Tuesday's hearing, violating court procedure.

The DA simply delivered them to the Cape Town offices of the SABC, expecting the office to track him down, he said. It was a known fact, including in the DA, that Motsoeneng was based in Johannesburg. The party's actions left his lawyers with two days to prepare for the application.

He said Motsoeneng had been prejudiced and he should not have to pay the costs for what was essentially an SABC issue.

The application was adjourned to Thursday.

Read more on:    da  |  sabc  |  hlaudi motsoeneng  |  media

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