Johannesburg – The communications ministry has not received any request from the SABC’s board for Hlaudi Motsoeneng to be appointed the broadcaster’s acting COO, it said on Thursday.
“We want to state categorically that we have not formally received such a letter from the SABC board for the minister’s consideration,” the ministry said in a statement.
It however said it was aware of a letter, purporting to be from the SABC’s group secretary and addressed to its board, asking it to recommend to Communications Minister Faith Muthambi that she appoint Motsoeneng to the post.
The ministry said it was confident the broadcaster would give due considerations to the Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling.
“As the shareholder representative, our duty is to wait for the SABC to engage us formally on this matter, in line with the mandate of the broadcaster.”
According to the letter, dated Monday, the board was asked to make the recommendation at its next meeting on October 28. The appointment would be from September 19 to December 18.
Motsoeneng declined to comment and SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago dismissed the letter as a rumour.
On Tuesday, Motsoeneng reported for duty at the public broadcaster an "ordinary employee", after the Supreme Court of Appeal rejected his bid for leave to appeal against a High Court ruling that set aside his permanent appointment as chief operating officer.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found in a report released in February 2014, that Motsoeneng lied about his qualifications when he applied for the post of COO, that he hiked his salary from R1.5m to R2.4m in one year, and that he purged senior staff.
Despite these adverse findings, Muthambi confirmed his permanent appointment by the board.
In November 2015, Western Cape High Court Judge Dennis Davis found Motsoeneng's appointment was irrational and unlawful and set it aside. The DA brought the application.
The DA then got a court order forcing the SABC to hold a disciplinary hearing against him, but he was cleared of the charges in December 2015.
On May 23 this year, Davis dismissed Motsoeneng’s application for leave to appeal against his ruling. Motsoeneng then approached the SCA.