DA's court bid to remove Motsoeneng continues

Johannesburg - The DA's application to have the appointment of SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng set aside is expected to continue in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the SABC board argued that the decision to appoint Motsoeneng on a permanent basis was rational.

SABC board lawyer Ngwako Maenetje argued that the board had considered Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's findings on Motsoeneng and found no basis so far to discipline him.

"We don't regret it [the appointment]. In our society, with all the criticisms, he is some kind of example for where he comes from," Maenetje said.

The Democratic Alliance wanted an urgent interim interdict suspending Motsoeneng pending a review of the decision to appoint him.

It argued on Tuesday that Motsoeneng should be suspended as soon as possible because he is a "toxic influence" who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

"We have seen what the eighth respondent [Motsoeneng] does when he is in the position of acting COO," Anton Katz, for the DA, said.

"He must be removed today if possible. He is a toxic element running through that organisation. It is urgent in that sense."

In February, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report on Motsoeneng, while he was acting COO.

She found his salary increased from R1.5m to R2.4m in one year, that he had purged senior staff, and misrepresented his matric qualifications to the SABC. Madonsela recommended that a new COO be appointed at the SABC within 90 days.

In July, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi announced Motsoeneng's permanent appointment. She said he was cleared of all wrongdoing by a legal firm before the decision was made.

The Democratic Alliance then launched a high court bid to have his appointment set aside.

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