Court orders Hlaudi Motsoeneng suspension

The Western Cape High Court has ordered that SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng be suspended with immediate effect with full pay.

“The board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation shall, within 14 calendar days of the date of this order, commence, by way of serving on him a notice of charges, disciplinary proceedings against ... Mr George Hlaudi Motsoeneng,” Judge Ashton Schippers said today in his order.

“The disciplinary proceedings ... shall be completed within a period of 60 calendar days after they have been commenced.”

He said if the disciplinary proceeding was not completed in the allocated time the SABC had to deliver an affidavit to the court explaining why and when it would be completed.

Motsoeneng was entitled to five days of delivery of the affidavit by the chairperson to deliver an answering affidavit.

“Pending the finalisation of the disciplinary proceedings ... [Motsoeneng] shall be suspended on full pay,” Schippers said.

The SABC, its board, its chairperson Ellen Tshabalala and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi were ordered to pay the costs of the application.

The SABC today said it would study the judgment.

"The board will study the judgment and then decide on the way forward," spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said.

The Democratic Alliance applied for an urgent interim interdict suspending Motsoeneng pending a review of the decision to appoint him.

In February, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report on Motsoeneng, while he was acting chief operating officer.

She found that his salary increased from R1.5 million to R2.4 million in a year, that he had purged senior staff and had misrepresented his matric qualifications to the SABC. Madonsela recommended that a new chief operating officer be appointed at the SABC within 90 days.

In July, Muthambi announced Motsoeneng’s permanent appointment. She said he was cleared of all wrongdoing by a legal firm before the decision was made.

The DA then launched a high court bid to have his appointment set aside.

This was the second part of the DA’s application which would be heard next year.

» This post was updated since first published

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