'Lunatic' Motsoeneng in hot water over press conference

Mathatha Tsedu says ex-COO contravened public broadcaster’s code of conduct

'Lunatic' Motsoeneng in hot water over press conference

24 April 2017

Cape Town – The South African Broadcasting Cooperation’s (SABC) Hlaudi Motsoeneng may face yet another disciplinary hearing.

This time, Motsoeneng is in hot water for a two-hour press conference held last week, during which he slammed the SABC interim board, Parliament and government.

Parliament’s communications committee met on Monday with the interim board, where MPs were briefed on why “Motsoeneng was entertained” and allowed to hold the press conference.

Deputy chairperson of the interim board Mathatha Tsedu told the committee that the matter was being taken seriously.

SABC acting CEO James Aguma said Motsoeneng’s utterances at the press conference were grounds for a disciplinary process.

“And he has been sent a letter in this regard,” he said.

The deadline for his response was Monday, the committee heard.

But 4pm it had not received a response.

Tsedu said while Motsoeneng had contravened the public broadcaster’s code of conduct, he could not be summarily dismissed without due process.

“But we are aware of the seriousness of the matter.”

He said the former SABC COO was not a one man army and everyone who was part of his army would have to face the music.

ANC MP Mziwamadoda Kalako did not mince his words and said people should not be allowed to run amok in a mental hospital.

“They can’t be running around naked and jumping windows. And really, Hlaudi is a lunatic,” he said.

He questioned whether Motsoeneng was still an employee of the public broadcaster, which was confirmed by Tsedu.

MPs questioned how an employee paid by SABC still was allowed to bash the SABC on their own platform.

ANC MP Sisisi Tolashe said the “short man was insulting everyone” and the time had come to assess how the public broadcaster had got to that point.

“It’s like we are in Hollywood and he is acting. This must stop,” he said.

The Democratic Alliance’s Phumzile Van Damme insisted that the defiant Motsoeneng face the consequences of his actions soon.

This was echoed by Cope’s Willie Madisha, who said “this nameless man” needed to be addressed.

The board, and Aguma, said the editorial decisions were made at editorial level.

During his press conference, Motsoeneng said the new interim board was conflicted and he questioned its integrity.