SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has not been appointed acting group CEO as reported by some newspapers on Sunday, the broadcaster’s spokesman said.
“No, he is not acting CEO. The acting CEO is a man by the name of Anton Heunis, and now he is sick. But he is still acting CEO,” Kaizer Kganyago said.
“Some of his duties have just been delegated to Hlaudi. He is just standing in while Anton is sick. There is no appointment. Hlaudi still has to consult with Anton. It’s just delegated powers.”
City Press and the Sunday Times reported that Motsoeneng was temporarily appointed acting group CEO, while Heunis was ill. “Anton will be back when he is well, hopefully soon,” said Kganyago.
In October, the Western Cape high court ordered the SABC to suspend Motsoeneng and begin disciplinary proceedings against him within 14 days.
This followed the DA’s application for an urgent interim interdict to have Motsoeneng suspended, pending a review of the decision to appoint him as COO.
In February, public protector Thuli Madonsela released a report on Motsoeneng, while he was acting operations chief. She found his salary increased from R1,5m to R2,4m in one year, that he had purged senior staff, and misrepresented his matric qualifications to the SABC.
Madonsela recommended that a new chief operating officer be appointed at the SABC within 90 days.
In July, communications minister Faith Muthambi announced Motsoeneng’s permanent appointment as operations chief.
Motsoeneng is appealing against the court ruling that he be suspended.
Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis said the party is in possession of a document that shows SABC chair Zandile Tshabalala delegated the power of SABC CEO to Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
“The mind boggles at this astonishing transgression of good governance prescripts,” Davis said. The document gives Motsoeneng “authority to undertake the duties and function of the group CEO with effect from 13 November 2014 to 22 November 2014″.
“This delegation of authority is the product of an unholy alliance between two deeply compromised individuals. No rational chairperson would delegate the powers of CEO to Motsoeneng in the face of several damning findings against him,” he said.
“Now that he has the power of the CEO, Motsoeneng is in charge of the administration of the SABC, including budgets and senior appointments. The CEO is also the editor-in-chief, which means that Motsoeneng now has the power to make editorial decisions. — TechCentral and Sapa