AS IT HAPPENED | Media 'portrays black people as if we are useless' - Motsoeneng on SABC allegations at #StateCaptureInquiry

2019-09-11 16:00

The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture has heard further testimony related to the SABC from former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng.


(Courtesy of SABC)

Hlaudi Motsoeneng is sworn in ahead of testimony

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Last Updated at 19:30
11 Sep 16:08

Advocate Norman and Zondo discuss and decide to adjourn for the day, and pick things up a bit earlier tomorrow morning, to make up for lost time. 

Zondo adjourns proceedings. Back at 09:00 tomorrow morning.

11 Sep 16:05

Motsoeneng is currently dealing with the background of a proposed deal between MultiChoice and the SABC, for a 24-hour news channel. Motsoeneng says after the SABC board decided that a channel of this nature would be unsustainable, and Treasury turned down the possibility of funding, Motsoeneng says he himself approached MultiChoice to engage with them about the channel. 

Motsoeneng says he did so after consulting with former SABC board chair, Ben Ngubane, who told him that they had already failed in securing a deal with MultiChoice, but he should go ahead and try. 

"I'm going to fight this battle, chairperson, that they must assist the SABC," Motsoeneng says he told himself, after stakeholders walked out of an earlier meeting.

Motsoeneng says he tried his best to convince them that it was in their best interests to have a channel in partnership with the public broadcaster.

11 Sep 15:50

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11 Sep 15:12

'The media's role is to discredit me', Hlaudi Motsoeneng tells Zondo commission

Despite the Wits Business School denying claims made by embattled former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng that he had lectured at the university, Motsoeneng remains adamant that he was invited on at least three occasions.

During his second day of testimony at the state capture inquiry on Wednesday morning, Motsoeneng told inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that there was a SABC video clip which showed him lecturing at the university. 

"I think the media's role is to discredit me. Yesterday [Tuesday], I spoke about lecturing at Wits - it is true, chairperson. It doesn't mean, when I say I lectured there, I was employed," he said.

11 Sep 15:04

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11 Sep 14:52

Motsoeneng says there was nothing wrong with giving Zuma more airtime while he was still president of the country. Motsoeneng says when he was a producer, he would also give former president Thabo Mbeki more airtime, so he did not only do it for Zuma. Even now, as the leader of the African Content Movement, he still understands that President Cyril Ramaphosa needs to be given more airtime in the media.

11 Sep 14:46

Motsoeneng: "I want to clarify, chairperson, that I know president Zuma, but he's not my friend. So I'm not close to him like people saying I'm close to president Zuma..."

"When it comes to president Zuma," says Motsoeneng, "I follow this [broadcasting] act - not him, any individual."

Motsoeneng says that even on air, people were calling former president Jacob Zuma names, while he was still president, and he told people to have respect and "mind your language" because he was still president.

11 Sep 14:36

"It's not a Hlaudi issue, it is an SABC issue," Motsoeneng says, on the SABC's editorial policy.

11 Sep 14:29

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11 Sep 14:26

Zondo asks Motsoeneng what he regards as glamourising violence. Motsoeneng says it is very important to have role models in SA...he believes when the broadcasting act speaks about not glamourising violence, it means violence is not in the public's interest. 

Motsoeneng says we should ask ourselves why there are only negative stories in the media and nothing positive. He again speaks of an "agenda" to portray SA and certain individuals in a certain way. 

11 Sep 14:13

Proceedings resume after the lunch adjournment, with Advocate Norman still leading Motsoeneng's evidence. 

Norman is now reading from documents related to the protest coverage ban and charges brought by several of the "SABC 8".

11 Sep 13:07

Advocate Norman notes that it is already 13:00.

Zondo says that "Mr Motsoeneng has been on that chair now for quite some time since yesterday, but I think it's important, I think the issues that we are dealing with are important issues and it's important that they be dealt with properly". 

By Advocate Norman's estimation yesterday, Motsoeneng's testimony was meant to have already been completed by now, but Zondo acknowledges that he has interrupted a lot of the questioning to clarify issues and deal with them properly. 

Motsoeneng says he is actually "very glad, because no one has ever listened to my story". Motsoeneng says people have drawn their own conclusions without him being part of it, and he thanks Zondo. 

Zondo calls for the lunch adjournment. Back at 14:00.

11 Sep 12:58

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Questions are now posed to Motsoeneng around the so-called "SABC 8" journalists, who were suspended, ostensibly because they did not agree with the coverage ban, and disagreed with management.

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11 Sep 11:56

Advocate Norman asks Motsoeneng about his assertion that there were people with agendas who wanted the SABC to cover the protests. Motsoeneng tells Norman that there were people who came to him and told him about their agendas. 

Motsoeneng: "I want to repeat, in South Africa, there are issues that we should condemn, from the onset. This is one of the issues, that we should condemn, because we can't build monsters in our society. We need, chairperson, role models. So I will die with this statement..."

11 Sep 11:46

Proceedings resume after the break. 

Zondo now seeks to definitively address the issue of the protest coverage ban at the SABC, as the evidence and questioning around it went in circles just before the break.

11 Sep 11:18

Zondo adjourns proceedings for the morning tea break. Back at 11:35.

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11 Sep 10:49

"The decision was, just be responsible" when you deal with these issues, Motsoeneng says, on his decision to instruct SABC journalists not to cover violent protests.

Motsoeneng mentions that Dr (Aaron) Tshidzumba and other senior SABC staff were also involved in the decision.

11 Sep 10:39

11 Sep 10:38

The focus of Motsoeneng's testimony has now shifted to the policies and regulations at the SABC.

11 Sep 10:25

"They twist what I said in this commission, chairperson," Motsoeneng says, in response to Wits Business School denying that he had lectured at the institution. Motsoeneng says while he wasn't employed by Wits, he was there to lecture and there is even an SABC video clip that shows him lecturing. Now the media is twisting his words, he says.

11 Sep 10:23

The focus now shifts back to Motsoeneng's testimony, led by Advocate Norman. He remains sworn in, and starts off by addressing Zondo, saying he is here "to tell the truth".

11 Sep 10:14

11 Sep 10:09

Proceedings are now under way. Advocate Thandi Norman informs Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that Hlaudi Motsoeneng's legal team would like to address him on an issue of videos that they would like to submit to the commission as evidence.

Zondo notes this, and Motsoeneng's legal representative is now addressing Zondo.

11 Sep 09:59


'It was my job to interfere', Motsoeneng tells Zondo Commission 

Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has told the state capture inquiry that the decisions he made to ban the coverage of protests in 2016 was within the Broadcasting Act, adding that it was his job to interfere in certain decisions.

Testifying before inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Tuesday, Motsoeneng said he listened to the testimony of some of the people who gave SABC related testimony last week – and those who said that he was interfering in editorial decisions.

"I did hear when they were testifying, to say I was interfering... it was my job to interfere," he told Zondo.

11 Sep 09:59


Motsoeneng's qualifications were irrelevant in his appointment at SABC – ex-board chair 

Former SABC board chairperson Ben Ngubane has said that despite not having a matric qualification, Hlaudi Motsoeneng was appointed to executive positions at the state broadcaster because of his sterling track record.

Ngubane was on Monday testifying at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, which is led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. The inquiry is currently investigating allegations of corruption and fraud at the public broadcaster.

The former board chairperson was providing evidence on the circumstances surrounding former SABC Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Earlier Ngubane told the commission that Motsoeneng was appointed because he was a skilled communicator and troubleshooter.

11 Sep 09:59


Hlaudi's people skills were just what the SABC needed, says ex-chair 

Ben Ngubane, the former chairperson of the SABC, testified on Monday that the public broadcaster's ex-COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng was appointed because he was a skilled communicator and troubleshooter. 

Ngubane was testifying at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, which is currently investigating allegations of corruption and fraud at the public broadcaster. 

In addition to praising Motsoeneng's communication skills, Ngubane said that the controversial New Age business breakfasts that the SABC hosted were solid business decisions and good for the public broadcaster.  The former chair also denied having close links with members of the Gupta family, saying the only member in their circle he became close to was The New Age's former editor Moegsien Williams.

11 Sep 09:59


Zondo commission: We had to 'smuggle' Madonsela onto our show after she released her report - SABC employee 

Mwaba Phiri, who was the executive producer of the SABC's Question Time programme, has told the state capture inquiry that after former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her report into the broadcaster, she had to be "smuggled" into a studio for an interview.

The programme was aimed at interviewing newsmakers in different sectors, daily. It provided in-depth coverage of current affairs, he said on Thursday.  

Phiri told inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo after Madonsela released her report titled When Governance and Ethics Fail - which investigated, among other things, irregular appointments, promotions and salary hikes at the broadcaster - inviting her into the studio had to be done discreetly.

11 Sep 09:58


Motsoeneng's protest coverage ban was the start of capture, SABC 8 journalist tells state capture inquiry 

One of the so-called SABC 8, Krivani Pillay, has told the state capture commission that when former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng decided to ban the coverage of protest action in 2016, it was the start of alleged capture. 

Testifying before inquiry chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, on Thursday, Pillay said Motsoeneng cancelled a show on SAFM after it criticised his decision.

She also told Zondo that the newsroom was "abused" and there were a lot of people who disagreed with him.

11 Sep 09:58


Zondo commission: SABC journalist told not to report on political events that led to Nenegate 

The SABC's economic editor, who is also part of the so-called SABC 8, Thandeka Gqubule-Mbeki has told the state capture inquiry she was requested not to report on the political events that resulted in the financial market impact following the dismissal of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister in 2015.  

Gqubule-Mbeki told commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo: "The issue around Nenegate affected me and my department. It is our responsibility to tell the South African public about the value of the money in their pockets…"

She said the public broadcaster's former head of TV news, Nothando Maseko, had requested that she should not mention former president Jacob Zuma's conduct, quoting her as saying "the rand has been trading badly for a while and it is not the president's behaviour that has done this".

11 Sep 09:58


Motsoeneng took ex-SABC group CEO to Gupta compound to be 'congratulated' on her appointment - Zondo commission hears 

A week after Lulama Mokhobo was appointed SABC group CEO, embattled former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng took her to the Gupta residence in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, to be congratulated, the state capture inquiry heard on Wednesday.   

Mokhobo was appointed as the first woman CEO of the SABC in 2012 but resigned from the position in February 2014.

She told inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo: "Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who was acting COO, came to my office and said, 'I have to take you somewhere very quickly'. 

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