The Democratic Alliance has filed an application in the high court in the Western Cape seeking to set aside the recent disciplinary inquiry into SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
DA MP James Selfe said on Thursday that the application was being filed on the basis that the inquiry 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,” Selfe said.
The DA said its application seeks a new inquiry presided over by a new and independent person appointed by the SABC board and not by the “compromised” communications minister, Faith Muthambi. It also wants the inquiry to be open to the public and Motsoeneng to be suspended pending its outcome.
“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,” Selfe said.
He said the previous inquiry failed at a number of levels. He accused the chair of the disciplinary of “not properly allowing himself to consider all the facts”.
In addition, the hearing itself was truncated, key witnesses were not called or were unavailable to provide key evidence and the disciplinary inquiry ordered by the public protector was not satisfactorily engaged with, Selfe said.
“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,” he said.
“We submit that the original disciplinary was a farcical stitch-up job and its outcome was exactly what Mr Motsoeneng, the SABC and the minister, Muthambi, concocted from the very outset.
“[They] 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.”
Asked for comment, SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said: “We regard this matter as an employer-employee matter. The DA doesn’t have the right to get involved in the disciplinary matter between employer and employee.”
Kganyago said the SABC intends defending the matter in court. — © 2016 NewsCentral Media