The gospel according to Hlaudi resumes
Even before he took to the stage himself on Thursday, controversial SABC executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng was treated to a 10-minute session of praise-singing by another manager at the public broadcaster.
The SABC’s acting general manager for human resources, Keobokile Mosweu, described how Motsoeneng had – seemingly single-handedly – prevented the looming retrenchment of staff “through his own magic”, ended the abuse of freelancers, campaigned for people with disabilities and ended labour problems.
The company was unable to bring workers and management together, Mosweu said. Then “one man who came from the Free State … kind of intervened in these matters and today, as we speak, the relationship with us and the trade unions is very, very, very harmonious and peaceful. His name is Hlaudi.”
Mosweu also seemed to suggest that it was only because of Motsoeneng that the SABC had implemented legislation such as the Employment Equity Act, and later held that Motsoeneng, who had lied to the SABC about having obtained a matric certificate, is highly qualified.
Mosweu’s glowing recommendation, listed on the agenda as “addressing people-related issues”, was followed by Motsoeneng describing himself in glowing terms.
At times jocular, at others combative, he claimed credit for “influence” on 80% of SABC executive committee decisions on broadcasting. He also alternately held that the SABC is in fine financial shape and that its finances are not important, and that any criticism is rooted in racism.
SABC chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe, who had called the press conference, said Parliament was being unfair and, having victimised the SABC board, was now trying to bully it. People wanted to remove the board, he said, because it was trying to root out corruption.
On Wednesday, Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications slammed the board for reappointing Motsoeneng as an executive in an extraordinary show of unity by parties that had in recent months engaged in fistfights.