Union suspends Hlaudi Motsoeneng ally

2014-02-28 11:57

The Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) this morning suspended its KwaZulu-Natal secretary, Thami Mzileni, over a press conference in support of the SABC’s controversial acting chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The suspension was confirmed by CWU’s acting secretary general Thabo Mogalane.

Mzileni, says Mogalane, was behind Tuesday’s surprise press conference held by the “Hlaudi Motsoeneng Coalition” under the banner of CWU.

“It was not CWU. That press conference was done by [Mzileni] and he had no authority to represent the whole organisation,” Mogalane told City Press minutes after Mzileni’s suspension.

“We sent the matter to the national executive committee and they have decided to suspend him.”

Contacted for his reaction, Mzileni referred City Press to “head office for a statement” but did say that he would be challenging the decision to suspend him.

At last week’s press conference, the Motsoeneng coalition slammed the Public Protector’s SABC report that had damned Motsoeneng.

It also laid into Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, calling for her resignation.

Madonsela’s report had recommended that action be taken against Motsoeneng for his irregular appointment at SABC, his huge salary hike (from R1.4 million to R2.4 million within a year), for “purging staff seen as his detractors” and falsifying his qualifications. A fake matric certificate was notably added to his CV.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eh6y1Yf8zA At the press conference, Mzileni accused Madonsela of a “subjective” investigation that was nothing short of being in service of the Democratic Alliance. “We just want justice in the interest of the working class. This is not about Hlaudi as an individual. This is about the extreme abuse of power to deliver a certain agenda,” said Mzileni. At the conference, he said CWU’s members in the SABC supported Motsoeneng.

CWU, however, told City Press that their official position on the report is very different to Mzileni’s.

Mogalane referred to a recent statement from CWU calling on the SABC and government “to consider the Public Protector’s report without any delay and act in the best interests of the South African masses and the SABC workers who earn their living in an honest way by delivering the best programming despite the grave circumstances exposed by the Public Protector’s report”.

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