Will Hlaudi come to work on Tuesday?

2016-12-12 22:22
Hlaudi Motsoeneng. (Picture: Felix Dlangamandla)

Hlaudi Motsoeneng. (Picture: Felix Dlangamandla)

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Cape Town – The SABC would not comment on Monday if it intended abiding by a court ruling that Hlaudi Motsoeneng could not work there until a hearing into his conduct had been finalised.

Spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the broadcaster's lawyers would study the damning judgment by the Western Cape High Court.

“We are not commenting on anything until they have given us an opinion,” he said.

DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe said the party expected the SABC and Motsoeneng to appeal the judgment.

The DA applied to have Motsoeneng's appointment as group executive for corporate affairs set aside.

On Monday, the court ruled 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. Her findings included that he lied about his qualifications.

Selfe said if Motsoeneng arrived for work on Tuesday, the DA's lawyers would apply for an order that he not be allowed to work at the SABC pending an appeal.

“We have served the SABC with letter saying if he does appear for work, it constitutes contempt of court,” said Selfe.

Motsoeneng was removed as chief operating officer (COO) after the Supreme Court of Appeal in September rejects his bid to appeal the Western Cape High Court’s November 2015 ruling declaring his appointment irrational and setting it aside.

Motsoeneng’s absence from the premises

However, instead of removing him completely, group executive for corporate affairs, Bessie Tugwana, was moved out of her job to Motsoeneng's job to become COO, and Motsoeneng was given her job.

The court declared Tugwana’s appointment as COO invalid, but said any decisions she took during her period in the new position still stood.

Motsoeneng was not in court for the judgment. His lawyer Zola Majavu was not immediately available to comment.

Handing down judgment, Judge Owen Rogers said: “It would be inconsistent with the Public Protector’s findings for him to hold any senior position at the SABC pending further developments.”

He said one of the justifications for his suspension was to ensure the integrity of the disciplinary process.

“This requires Motsoeneng’s absence from the premises in any employment capacity whatsoever,'' said Rogers.

He said the SABC would have to take advice on how much he was paid during his suspension.

“Objectively speaking, though, the SABC failed to respect the dignity and effectiveness of the public protector’s office and failed to comply with her remedial action,” Rogers said.

Motsoeneng's only victory in the case was to have a reference to him as a “Goebbels” struck from the DA's founding affidavit.

Rogers found that the reference to the German Nazi-era propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels was offensive.

Read more on:    sabc  |  hlaudi motsoeneng  |  media

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