Cape Town - Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng's disciplinary hearing following his media conference on April 19 is set for next Wednesday.
Chairperson of the interim SABC board Khanyisile Kweyama told the portfolio committee on communications on Wednesday that a hearing on the matter would have taken place last week, but was postponed at the request of Motsoeneng's attorneys due to his "ill health".
This process will run parallel to the disciplinary process relating to the Public Protector's string of findings against him, which follows the Western Cape High Court's dismissal of Motsoeneng's request for leave to appeal in February.
The DA applied to have Motsoeneng's appointment as group executive for corporate affairs set aside and the court ruled in December that he could not go to work in any capacity at the SABC, pending the findings of a new disciplinary inquiry or a court review of parts of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on his conduct, which was released in February 2014.
Basis of charges
Motsoeneng was removed as chief operating officer (COO) after the Supreme Court of Appeal in September rejected his bid to appeal the Western Cape High Court’s November 2015 ruling declaring his appointment irrational and setting it aside.
The findings included that he lied about his qualifications; that he purged the SABC of staff and promoted people and raised salaries without following the correct procedures. Kweyama told the committee that these findings will form the basis of the charges against Motsoeneng. It will also be the subject of an investigation by the Special Investigations Unit.
The board also reviewed the judge and prosecutor the SABC appointed for Motsoeneng's disciplinary hearing and appointed different people to these positions. A date for this matter still has to be set.
The board also decided to rescind the review of the Public Protector's report that the SABC had sought.
Kweyama, joined by fellow interim board members Mthatha Tsedu, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule and John Matisonn, and acting CEO and CFO James Aguma, updated the committee on the interim board's progress since it started its work after an induction period from April 9 to 11 after former communications minister Faith Muthambi scuppered them initially by requiring that they be vetted.
Among the decisions the interim board made is to have their internal audit team investigate a range of agreements, among them the controversial deals with fellow broadcasters MultiChoice, who owns DStv and The New Age, which owns the news channel ANN7.
She said they will evaluate the "feasibility of entering into agreements with rival broadcasters ANN7 and MultiChoice". Meetings have been requested with both broadcasters to discuss their current contracts.
"The necessary documents have been submitted to the public protector, as that office is investigating the SABC's relationship with TNA," said Kweyama.
The process had begun to appoint a new CEO and COO.
The SABC also submitted a funding proposal to Minister of Communications Ayanda Dlodlo earlier on Wednesday, but Kweyama wouldn't provide further details as she wanted to allow Dlodlo to read the proposal first before it is made public.
A figure of a R1bn bailout has been reported recently.
Kweyama also wanted to restore the morale of SABC employees.
"Intimidation comes up a lot. It is up to us to show that we are there to protect people against intimidation," she said.
MP's from all the parties welcomed Kweyama's presentation.