Motsoeneng: DA launches review to set aside disciplinary inquiry - James Selfe

DA CFE seeking a new inquiry headed by an independent board-appointed person

Motsoeneng: DA launches review to set aside disciplinary inquiry

10 March 2016

The DA has filed its application requesting that the Western Cape High Court set aside the disciplinary inquiry into SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, on the basis that it was fatally flawed and amounted to nothing more than a stitch-up to shield him from accountability which we contend is at odds with the remedial actions as ordered by the Public Protector. To this end we  also seek for the Court to re-establish an independent and impartial disciplinary inquiry into Mr Motsoeneng’s fitness to hold office.

Specifically we seek for the inquiry to:

Be presided over by a new and independent person appointed by the SABC Board and not the compromised Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi;

Be commenced within 14 days of this order and for it to be completed within 60 days;

Be open to the public; and

Seek the suspension of Mr Motsoeneng pending the outcome of such an inquiry for any other interim measure would be a failure in due process.

At the time of the first inquiry the DA was concerned but unsurprised that the outcome of Mr Motsoeneng’s disciplinary hearing had been exposed to be the whitewash we always suspected it would be. This action was born from a review application brought by the DA in which we sought to have Mr Motsoeneneg suspended pending the outcome of a disciplinary inquiry that needed to be independent, fair and comprehensive.

This most recent action by the DA is necessary because the Chairperson of the original disciplinary “discharged” the charges levelled against Mr Motsoeneng. Mr Motsoeneng pleaded not guilty to all three charges levelled against him for gross dishonesty, orchestrating purges and improperly dismissing employees at the national broadcaster.

The Chairperson of this disciplinary was only appointed a week before the start of the disciplinary commenced and did not properly allow himself to consider all the facts. In addition to this:

The hearing itself was truncated;

Key witnesses were not called or were unavailable to provide key evidence in relation to Mr Motsoneneg’s gross misconduct;

The disciplinary inquiry ordered by the Public Protector entitled When Governance and Ethics Fail was not satisfactorily engaged with which is bizarre considering that this is the disciplinary inquiry the Public Protector ordered; and

Judgements by the Western Cape High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) were not duly engaged even though asserting that Mr Motsoeneng is in fact not a fit and proper person and that his permanence at the SABC is irrational on its face and should be set aside.

It is completely preposterous that the Chairperson can come to the determination that Mr Motsoeneng is a suitable person to hold his position as COO.

We submit that the original disciplinary was a farcical stitch-up job and its outcome were exactly what Mr Motsoeneng, the SABC and the Minister Muthambi, concocted from the very outset and have done everything in their power to frustrate this crucial process that has severe implications for the independence of our national broadcaster as prescribed by the constitutional precepts that this entity in enjoined by.

The DA will not accept the outcome of the original disciplinary which we contest is not rational or tenable in law and and we have taken it on review to establish that no one is above the law and that even those close to President Zuma are not above it.

Statement issued by James Selfe MP, Chairperson of the DA’s Federal Executive, 10 March 2016