Communication Minister Faith Muthambi has not “formally received” a letter from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board requesting that former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng be re-appointed in an acting capacity.
“The ministry is aware of a letter purporting to be from the SABC‚ suggesting that the board request approval for the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as acting chief operating officer‚” Muthambi’s office said in a statement.
“We want to state categorically that we have not formally received such letter from the SABC board for the minister’s consideration.”
This was after a memo from group company secretary Theresa Geldenhuys to board members proposing that Motsoeneng be appointed acting chief operating officer until December 2016 came to light on Thursday.
Motsoeneng is effectively an ordinary SABC employee after the Supreme Court of Appeal earlier this week dismissed his application for leave to appeal a ruling by the Western Cape High Court‚ which set aside his permanent appointment.
Ministry spokesman Mish Molakeng on Friday said the minister has not been formally asked to reappoint Motsoeneng.
“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‚” Molakeng said.
“Until such time‚ it would be highly in appropriate for the ministry to make public pronouncements.”
Motsoeneng’s lawyer‚ Zola Majavu‚ reportedly sent a letter to the SABC board demanding an explanation about his client’s role at the state broadcaster.
Motsoeneng was suffering from emotional stress‚ Majavu wrote in the letter.
According to a source with knowledge of the SABC board deliberations‚ Motsoeneng could land himself a “cushy job” at the broadcaster if the board members have their way.
— with additional reporting by Bekezela Phakathi
– TMG Digital/BDlive