Motsoeneng's disciplinary hearing terminated on serious grounds - James Selfe

DA CFE says his party will be considering legal options, including approaching court to have Adv Mokhari's decision set aside

Motsoeneng disciplinary must proceed, or DA may approach court

06 December 2015

The Democratic Alliance (DA) believes that SABC Chief Operating Officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng's disciplinary hearing has been terminated on spurious grounds that we contend are unsubstantiated in law.

Reports now indicating that Hlaudi Motsoeneng could return to work after the termination of his court-ordered disciplinary inquiry are plainly preposterous - the disciplinary hearing is not optional or conditional, but imperative as ordered by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

In pursuit of upholding the Rule of Law, the DA will be considering legal options which include (but are not limited to) court action to have Chairperson Adv. Mokhari’s decision to terminate the disciplinary proceedings set aside.

This comes after both Mr Motsoeneng and the SABC have made hollow overtures that they welcomed the disciplinary inquiry into the COO and that they are at the mercy of the inquiry Chair. This, the DA believes, is a contrived attempt to distance themselves from clear attempts to frustrate the disciplinary action as ordered by the High Court and SCA.

Throughout the DA’s entire review application all the respondents have done everything possible to obstruct and delay the remedial action as ordered by the Public Protector in this regard. This latest move by the disciplinary Chairperson smacks of an elaborate ruse to further obstruct due process.

The fact is that the legal position against Mr Motsoeneng is clear and straightforward. Knowing all this it is astounding that the presiding officer has terminated the disciplinary hearing on spurious grounds that we contend are untenable in law.

It is impermissible to suggest that two separate judgments, both requiring serious and immediate sanction of Mr Motsoeneng, cancel one another out, having the result that he should return to work as COO.

The suggestion is so absurd and baseless in law that it confirms that the SABC is hell-bent on ensuring that this disciplinary process is rendered a complete and utter whitewash, through any means necessary.

The SABC must immediately reject the termination of the disciplinary and reinstitute the disciplinary proceedings, or the DA will have no choice but to take decisive action to compel it to give effect to the SCA’s orders for without this our public broadcaster will remain a kleptocracy and be open to increasing political manipulation.

Protection of Hlaudi Motsoeneng, by bending the rules, is not in line with the constitutional precepts on which the broadcaster is founded. The Rule of Law must prevail.

Statement issued by James Selfe MP, Chairperson of the DA’s Federal Executive, 6 December 2015