NEWS & ANALYSIS

Hlaudi Motsoeneng suspension order welcome - COSATU

Federation says COO shouldn't be sole scapegoat for systemic problems bedevilling the SABC

COSATU welcomes Hlaudi suspension order

The Congress of South African Trade Unions welcomes the Western Cape High Court's order to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to institute disciplinary proceedings against its Chief Operating Officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and to suspend him pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.

The SABC board must, within 14 days, serve Motsoeneng with a notice of charges for alleged dishonesty relating to his qualifications, the abuse of power, improper conduct and his role in the alleged suspension and dismissal of senior SABC staff members.

The court's ruling follows a report by the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela - "When governance and ethics fail" - which alleged that Motsoeneng, then just the Acting COO, not only misrepresented his matric qualifications, but raised his salary from R1,5 million to R2,4 million over the course of one year and purged senior staff. She recommended that the SABC Board fire Motsoeneng and hire a replacement within 90 days, which the board not only failed to do, but made his appointment as acting COO permanent.

COSATU has already demanded that the Minister reverses the Board's decision and has condemned its failure to respond to any of the Public Protector's serious allegations. But while it is necessary to act against this one individual, Motsoeneng should not become the sole scapegoat for what are structural and systemic problems within the public broadcaster for which many others must share the blame.

As well as Motsoeneng, the Public Protector implicated members of the board, executives of the SABC and other senior managers in maladministration and abuse of power. Disciplinary action must be taken against any individuals who, according to, were responsible for such wrongdoing.

Statement issued by Patrick Craven, COSATU national spokesperson, October 24 2014

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