Motsoeneng will appeal court order for suspension

SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng will appeal a court ruling calling for his suspension. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng will appeal a court ruling calling for his suspension. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng will appeal against a court ruling that he be suspended, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

“That notice of appeal is in the process of being served on the lawyers of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and in the process of being served on the lawyers of the SABC,” Zola Majavu told reporters in Johannesburg.

“Once they have been served it will be filed in court.” Majavu said Motsoeneng would remain SABC chief operating officer.

“The court order is automatically suspended, until the finalisation of the appeal,” he said. “He is still the COO of the SABC. He is still working.” 

Suspension
Judge Ashton Schippers at the high court in the Western Cape on Friday ordered that the SABC suspend Motsoeneng and start disciplinary proceedings against him within 14 days. 

This followed the DA’s application for an urgent interim interdict to have Motsoeneng suspended, 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 his salary increased from R1.5-million to R2.4-million in one year, that he had purged senior staff, and 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, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi announced Motsoeneng’s permanent appointment. In his order Schippers said: “Unlike an order or decision of a court, a finding by the public protector is not binding on persons and organs of state.” 

“However, the fact that the findings of and remedial action taken by the public protector are not binding decisions, does not mean that these findings and remedial action are mere recommendations, which an organ of state may accept or reject.”

Majavu said if his client’s application for the leave to appeal was denied he would take it to the Supreme Court of Appeal, and if it failed there to the Constitutional Court. “We [are] going all the way. This is not a simple and cut-and-dried matter.” – Sapa

 

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