Cape Town – The Western Cape High Court has ruled that the SABC must immediately suspend its controversial and famously matricless chief oeprating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
Judge Ashton Schippers said that "organs of state cannot ignore the Public Protector's remedial action".
The court ordered the SABC to start disciplinary proceedings againt Motsoeneng within 14 days.
In February the Public Protector's office released a scathing report, saying that Motsoeneng "should never have been appointed at the SABC", and implicating him in maladministration, governance and ethics breaches, that he was directly involved with getting everyone fired who testified during his disciplinary hearing years ago, and that he was involved in salary increases for himself and others which ballooned the SABC's salary bill by millions of rands.
The Public Protector also found that he lied about having a matric and that Motsoeneng made up symbols for a fake matric certificate he knew he couldn't produce – something the Public Protector said Motsoeneng admitted to in a recorded interview.
Instead of suspending Motsoeneng and acting on the report, the SABC permanently appointed him in the position of COO in which he had been acting in.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) political party then launched a high court bid to have Hlaudi Motsoeneng's permanent SABC appointment set aside.
The SABC chairperson Ellen Zandile Tshabalala who had so far failed to produce proof of her tertiary qualifications she claims to have is also involved in a legal battle to prevent parliament from suspending her.
Instead of providing proof or answering questions before parliament’s portfolio committee on communications after having been granted multiple extensions, Tshabalala this week got an urgent court interdict to prevent the inquiry from proceeding.