NEWS & ANALYSIS

WCape High Court suspends SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng - Gavin Davis

DA MP says judgment also orders the SABC Board to commence with disciplinary proceedings

Motsoeneng suspension a good day for democracy

24 October 2014 

The DA is delighted with the judgment handed down today in the Western Cape High Court which suspends SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng and orders the SABC Board to commence with disciplinary proceedings against him.

The judgment is a resounding victory for every person who values our constitutional democracy and independent public broadcasting. The suspension of Mr. Motsoeneng is an opportunity to start getting the SABC back on track. 

We have argued all along that the Public Protector's damning findings against Mr Motsoeneng could not be ignored. The Public Protector found that he had lied about having a matric certificate, purged staff members perceived as disloyal to him and fraudulently inflated salaries (including his own - from R1.5m to R2.4m in one year).

The SABC is now compelled by the Court to institute the disciplinary proceedings as it was directed to do by the Public Protector in February. The disciplinary proceedings must begin in the next fourteen days and be completed within a 60-day period. Mr Motsoeneng, however, is suspended with immediate effect. 

Significantly, the judge ordered that an "independent person" must preside over the disciplinary proceedings. We will be watching closely to ensure that whoever is appointed to head the proceedings is indeed impartial.

Today's judgment was the first part of the DA's application in this matter. The second part is the DA's review application to have Mr Motsoeneng's appointment declared invalid on the grounds that it was irrational and unlawful. 

Mr Motsoeneng is bad news for the SABC and bad news for South Africa. He is a key figure in the ongoing ‘Zumafication' of the public broadcaster and has been protected and promoted despite several findings against him. We hope that the SABC will see this as an opportunity to finally hold Mr. Motsoeneng accountable for his actions.

Statement issued by Gavin Davis MP, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, October 24 2014

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