DA 'satisfied' with SCA decision on Hlaudi Motsoeneng

Bloemfontein – The DA on Monday said it was satisfied with a decision by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to dismiss SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng's application for leave to appeal a High Court ruling that his permanent appointment should be set aside.

"While going to the court is not the most desirable course of action; other remedies have proved unsuccessful and we are satisfied by the SCA's declination of the petition that would've potentially resulted in Mr Motsoeneng keeping his job," said the party on its website.

"Given this latest and damning evidence, the DA calls on Mr Motsoeneng and the SABC to stop their vexatious litigation and not approach the Constitutional Court and tender his resignation effective immediately. This is the only way that the process to restore the SABC's credibility can begin."

In the court order, which was posted by the DA on its website, the application to appeal for leave was dismissed with costs.

"The application for leave to appeal is dismissed with costs on the grounds that there is no reasonable prospect of success in an appeal and there is no longer compelling reason why it should be heard," read the court order. 

In May the Western Cape High Court upheld its earlier ruling that Motsoeneng's appointment was irrational.

'Getting SABC back on track'

At the time Motsoeneng vowed to take his fight to the Constitutional Court. 

The High Court dismissed the SABC and Motsoeneng’s application for leave to appeal its November 2015 ruling that his appointment was irrational and unlawful, and must be set aside.

Following its dismissal DA federal chairperson James Selfe said the party was pleased with the outcome of the case.

"The setting aside of the appointment and suspension of Mr Motsoeneng is an opportunity to start getting the SABC back on track," he said.

It was an indictment of Communications Minister Faith Muthambi who he said had persistently disregarded the law. She had "managed the SABC as her personal fiefdom, subject only to her patron President Jacob Zuma".

In February 2014 Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found in her report, When Governance and Ethics Fail, that Motsoeneng's SABC appointment was irregular and recommended that he be removed from his post.

Appointment of new COO recommended

Madonsela found he lied about his qualifications when he applied for the post of chief operations officer, increased his salary from R1.5m to R2.4m in one year, purged senior staff, and irregularly increased the salaries of various staff members.

She recommended that a new chief operations officer be appointed within 90 days. 

In October 2014 Western Cape High Court Judge Ashton Schippers ordered that Motsoeneng be suspended for 60 days pending a disciplinary inquiry into his alleged misconduct.

Motsoeneng appealed. In October 2015, the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld Schippers' ruling. 

It however rejected the part of his ruling in which he said Madonsela's rulings were not binding.

Motsoeneng lodged an appeal with the Constitutional Court but withdrew it when the disciplinary inquiry cleared him.

Despite Madonsela's findings Muthambi permanently appointed him to the post. 

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago could not be reached for comment. 

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