‘Unholy alliance’ at SABC

2014-07-16 00:00

HLAUDI Motsoeneng, COO of the SABC, only listed five matric subjects on his job application, giving himself low marks for each.

When he applied for a job at the SABC in Bloemfontein in 1995, Motsoeneng filled in on the form that he had completed matric at the Metsimantsho High School and his subjects were English, Sotho, Afrikaans, history and “Bibs” (which may refer to Bible studies).

He gave himself an E for all the subjects except history, for which he gave himself an F.

The form has a written comment: “outstanding matric certificate”.

In written correspondence which sister paper Beeld has seen, a human resource manager at the SABC advised Motsoeneng in 1996 that this lack of a matric certificate would seriously hinder his career at the public broadcaster.

The SABC offered that Motsoeneng should first complete his matric certificate. It was never done.

Motsoeneng, who currently earns R2,4 million a year, was suspended in 2006 by the SABC after an audit by Deloitte & Touche found his colleagues viewed him as a semi-literate journalist, “inexperienced and not able to communicate in English”.

Motsoeneng was at that stage executive producer at Lesedi FM. He contested his suspension. After considering the legal aspects of his case, Dali Mpofu currently of the Economic Freedom Fighters, who was at the time head of the SABC, in 2008 offered Motsoeneng two potential positions in the SABC — as a news and actuality radio reporter with a salary of R216 883 or as a radio producer with a salary of R243 789.

Motsoeneng in 2009 replied he wanted to be reappointed in his original position and that he wanted recompense for the losses he suffered.

He was reappointed in 2009 and rapidly ascended through the ranks. He became acting COO in 2012 and this position was recently confirmed by Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.

Ellen Tshabalala, chairperson of the SABC board — whose qualifications are also being questioned — and Motsoeneng are in an unholy alliance, according to a former senior executive SABC official who wanted to remain anonymous. “They are going to drive that place into the ground,” the former executive, who said he had left the SABC because of the way it is being mismanaged. He said Tshabalala is a close ally of President Jacob Zuma and accompanied the president on all his trips.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago confirmed to Liani Jansen van Rensburg that Tshabalala is currently in Brazil with Zuma, but said her visit to Brazil was not a matter for his office.

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