Court orders suspension of SABC’s Motsoeneng

Judge Asthon Schippers on Friday ordered that the SABC board serve Motsoeneng with a notice of charges within 14 days for alleged dishonesty relating to his qualifications and charges of abuse of powers and improper conduct.

He also ordered the start of disciplinary proceedings against Motsoeneng.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has taken the public broadcaster and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to court after  a decision was taken to make Motsoengeng’s appointment permanent in July.

This was despite recommendations by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that Motsoeneng be replaced because of a number of irregularities she had uncovered. 

James Selfe, the DA’s federal executive chairman, said the outcome of the case was important because it dealt with “the question of the enforceability of the public protector’s findings”. 

Madonsela had raised concerns about the decision to permanently appoint Motsoeneng – despite her report in which she found he had lied about his matric qualifications.

She also raised concerns that his salary had increased from R1.5m to R2.4m in one year and recommended he be replaced.  He was also accused of purging staff at the SABC. 

The SABC had said it wanted time to consider her findings, but had never come back to her, she said at the time.

All the issues relating to the court’s order had been outlined in Madonsela’s report, the court heard.

Judge Schippers said Motsoeneng should be suspended on full pay pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.

The SABC previously dismissed the report, saying it had known that he did not have a matric and that he had not misled the SABC in any way. 

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