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SABC replaces Motsoeneng as acting chief operating officer

Staff Reporter

The South African Broadcasting Corporation has released Hlaudi Motsoeneng as acting chief operating officer.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

In a statement, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said current head of radio news and current affairs Mike Siluma would take over the role of acting COO.

"The board would like to assure the public that the process of appointing a permanent chief operating officer will be concluded once all the legal impediments that has thus far prevented them from making the appointment is resolved," said Kganyago.

Motsoeneng will move back to his position as group editor of provinces.

In the past, Motsoeneng has intermittently come under fire in the press for not having passed matric. Although there had been claims that he lied on his curriculum vitae about having the qualification, the board had not been shown proof of this, SABC board chairperson Ben Ngubane said in February last year, after his appointment.

Ngubane said that in spite of Motsoeneng’s popularity at the corporation, he might have become a target because he had clamped down on corruption and exercised cost-saving measures at the cash-strapped corporation.

"He saved us R19-million by putting a stop to the controversial lease deal that led to journalists driving luxury Mercedes-Benz vehicles,” said Ngubane.

Some of his senior colleagues were astounded by Motsoeneng's admission to the Mail & Guardian that he had made the controversial decision to take the Fish & Chip Co TV advert "Dinner time at Nkandla", which satirises President Jacob Zuma, off the air.

Motsoeneng's powerful position at the SABC, where he is considered to be a Zuma enforcer, was now deeply entrenched, staff said at the time.

"He seems to be in charge of the SABC, which is embarrassing because he does not even have a matric," said a senior staffer. "We love the public broadcaster and we take pride in our work. We just feel that we can't simply stand by and ignore what is happening."

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