ANC wants inquiry into SABC board‚ says Hlaudi’s new job ‘the last straw’

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu

The African National Congress in Parliament wants answers on how Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ after being forced out of his chief operating officer post‚has been confirmed as the SABC group executive of corporate affairs.

“The appointment of previous COO to another senior post is the last straw that broke the camel’s back. The board must rescind it‚” ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu told a news briefing‚ tweeted by the ANC parliamentary feed.

“The ANC will recommend to Parliament to have an inquiry on the fitness of the current SABC board.”

At the briefing‚ Mthembu blamed the leadership of the SABC board for the problems experienced by the public broadcaster.

“The challenges start with the board. Our thinking was that let us have a board and after we have spoken to them [something would happen]. That has now changed. Before we even speak to the [members of the board] they mess up again.

“Before we even speak to them next week. They mess up again. They appoint a non-employee to a position without a due process‚ in defiance of a court decision In total defiance of our rule of law‚” an obviously unhappy Mthembu said.

On Tuesday‚ the chairperson of the SABC board‚ Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe‚ accused some members of society and the Democratic Alliance of destabilising the public broadcaster with their interference.

Maguvhe heaped praised on Motsoeneng‚ whom he announced would take over the position of Group Executive Corporate Affairs. He credited Motsoeneng for successfully raising funds for the SABC and bringing local content on television and radio.

He made it clear that should Motsoeneng wish‚ he could still apply for his position of COO when it is advertised.

This was followed on the heels of a decision by the Supreme Court of Appeal which rejected Motsoeneng’s bid for leave to appeal against a November 2015 Western Cape High Court ruling declaring his appointment as COO irrational‚ and setting it aside.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela told reporters on Tuesday that she would ask the SABC to explain its decision and would take further action if she deemed it necessary.

Motsoeneng’s position as COO was found to be invalid after the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed his application for leave to appeal a High Court in Cape Town ruling‚ which set aside his permanent appointment. The case was informed by a Public Protector finding that Motsoeneng had lied about his qualifications and irregularly increased his salary.

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