Former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has accused the former SABC chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng of being among the Zuma cronies.
The broadcaster has been rumored to be among state-owned firms captured by those in “cahoots” with President Jacob Zuma
Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s reappointment as the group executive of corporate affairs for the broadcaster despite court ruling aroused controversial issues all pointing to Motsoeneng’s cling to power in the firm.
The public broadcaster held a media briefing to address, among other issues, the court ruling. It announced that the former COO would be reverting to his old position as group executive of corporate affairs, further saying Motsoeneng was free to apply for the COO position once it was advertised (as early as next week).
The SABC chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe further argued that Motsoeneng was being kept at the public broadcaster for “transformation” reasons.
Reacting to this appointment, the former Cosatu sec-gen, Zwelinzima Vavi said Hlaudi’s reappointment was a prove that rational South Africans have been ‘insulted by a band of people who want a kleptocracy’.
“This “collaboration” was an effort to shield Zuma from allegations of corruption against him and, in doing so, it “hides the truth from South Africa”, Zwelinzima Vavi charged.
Similar to Vavi’s comments, critics point out that Hlaudi stands a unique candidate in the corporation in many ways, the board ought to adhere to court orders of placing him under suspension. Obviously, Hlaudi seems impossible to fire and critics ask why.
The Right2Know (R2K) Campaign also claimed the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has been “captured” by a few individuals who are only enriching themselves.
The NGO-led group had about 100 supporters who joined the nationwide protests against the appointment controversial SABC head, Hlaudi.
Speaking for the group, the campaign’s Vainola Makan claims that the SABC has been “captured” by a few looters.
“SABC is the public broadcaster which many millions of South Africans depend on for the free flow of information and at the moment that institution is captured.”
Buttressing this claim, Zwelinzima Vavi said SABC’s reaction to the SCA, the high court, Madonsela and “all rational South Africans”, was also “disgusting
“This isn’t the SCA, the public protector or high court who were being shown the middle finger but all rational South Africans who believe in the rule of law. We are all being insulted here by one man who is supported by a band of people who are hellbent to drive South Africa into kleptocracy.”
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) chairperson Wayne Duvenage also said the “simple reality is this is a farce and the SABC board is out of line”.
“… Motsoeneng was just given another title, but is probably in the same office, with the same secretary and the same salary.”
Meanwhile, Vuyo Lefele of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA), addressed the march, saying that censorship deprives the public of valuable knowledge.
“His arrogance must go down with him; hence we have to support this campaign.”
The campaign has handed over a memorandum to the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Absa bank, calling on them to stop advertising with the SABC until Motsoeneng is permanently removed.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela who also had raised concern over Hlaudi’s reappointment said the entire broadcaster’s board has to be probed for taking such decision.
Thuli had prior to court’s judgment,also found Motsoeneng had fraudulently misrepresented his qualifications and hiked his salary from R1.5 million to R2.4m in a single year, among other adverse findings.
Thuli said the investigation has to first start with finding out the processes undergone appointing him and that should Motsoeneng’s appointment turn out to be illegitimate, Madonsela’s office would seek legal costs from the SABC board, which signed off on it.