An attempt by two musicians’ rights groups, and Jimmy Manyi’s Decolonisation Foundation, to throw legal weight behind Hlaudi Motsoeneng failed in the Western Cape high court on Wednesday.
The SA Musicians Association and the Independent Music Performers Rights Association had hoped to submit arguments in support of Motsoeneng’s transformation efforts.
Motsoeneng instituted a 90% local content rule at the SABC, much to the delight of local artists who stand to benefit from extended airplay, royalties and work.
But on Wednesday, when they tried to be admitted as friends of the court in the Democratic Alliance’s application to have Motsoeneng removed from the SABC, the DA’s lawyer, Anton Katz SC, objected.
Judges Owen Rogers and Andre Le Grange ruled that their application was not related to the main question of whether Motsoeneng’s continued tenure is legally above board.
The application by the three was dismissed.
Former national director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe represented Manyi’s foundation.
Manyi, former government spokesman, was in court to listen to the application.
Once their application was dismissed, Katz moved in to the main application to have Motsoeneng removed.
Katz said that the two-and-a-half-year fight over whether Motsoeneng should stay had already cost the taxpayer R28m.
He submitted that the SABC’s handling of the public protector’s findings over him not having a matric certificate and giving himself a hefty pay rise was a “charade”, and something out of Alice in Wonderland.
He said Motsoeneng seemed to be the SABC, even overriding other heads and speaking for the board at press conferences.
A recent court ruling ordered that his appointment as chief operating officer was invalid.
The SABC then appointed him as chief executive of group corporate affairs.
The DA believes Motsoeneng should leave the SABC entirely, and should pay the legal costs for the matter out of his own pocket.
During the application, Motsoeneng listened intently, occasionally smiling when Katz became heated.