Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has out rightly condemned the reappointment of former SABC Chief Operating Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
Public Protector Thuli made indication of scrutinizing the board’s decision a while after the broadcaster’s board chairperson Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe announced that Motsoeneng had been appointed to his old job as group executive of corporate affairs,
Maguvhe not only announced his reappointment as the broadcaster’s GCA, she said he was free to apply for the position of chief operating officer, which he held until Monday, when the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) upheld the Western Cape High Court ruling that Motsoeneng’s appointment to that position was irrational and must be set aside.
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Taken aback by the board’s decision to take back Motsoeneng among controversial issues, Public Protector Thuli said she would urgently need to probe the entire broadcaster.
“The starting point will be to find out what was the process of appointing him,” Madonsela said, speaking at an unrelated media briefing in Pretoria, which coincided with the SABC’s announcement of Motsoeneng’s appointment.
“Was the position vacant?” Madonsela asked, adding that a query would be sent to the SABC to explain its decision and that, if their explanation is not satisfactory, action would be taken.
The public protector also noted that the SABC could face personal legal costs for Motsoeneng’s reappointment if it fails to give reasonable reasons for the reappointment, and should his appointment turn out to be illegitimate, the Public Protector office would seek legal costs from the SABC board, which signed off on it.
Motsoeneng, who claims to be criticized because he, among few others, are determined to transform South Africa, said he would not back down in his efforts.
a few days back, he used a media briefing at the SABC’s Auckland Park headquarters to lash out at his detractors for waging “a malicious” campaign” against him and “misleading the public”.
He said South Africa needed to be saved from this onslaught.
“I don’t care when dogs bark (at) you. I have my own brains and vision. My future is in my hands. I was not produced by anyone,” he said as he vowed to do “miracles” in his job to ensure that all radio stations in the nine provinces reflected the 11 official languages.
Like Motsoeneng, Maguvhe called on political parties not to interfere with SABC processes. “They are destabilizing this institution,” he said.
Nevertheless, the political parties have been quick to criticize the board’s latest decision, calling on the current board to be dissolved.
The DA was the first to take a hit at the board saying the reappointment “smacks of irregularity” and that it would seek legal advice on Motsoeneng’s appointment.
“The speed and apparent secrecy with which the process was carried out raises questions about the credibility of the appointment hot off the heels of the SCA”s dismissal of leave to appeal,” it added.
Next on the list is the EFF which called on the government to take more responsibility in reining it the corporation, adding that the board had completely disregarded the court and the country’s morale by taking on such decision.
“What’s happening is as a result of the non-effectiveness of the Department of Communications in reining them in,” said Mokoena, also accusing the ANC-led government of being complicit in the shenanigans at the public broadcaster.