SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng must stop trying to fight the court ruling that his appointment should be set aside, the Right2Know Campaign said on Tuesday.
By holding on to Motsoeneng, the SABC board and communications minister Faith Muthambi were insulting the freedoms “so many sacrificed so much for”, it said in a statement.
Motsoeneng was living on borrowed time and should spare the public from having to continue demanding his resignation.
The supreme court of appeal on Monday rejected his bid for leave to appeal against a high court ruling that set aside his permanent appointment.
Motsoeneng’s application was dismissed with costs on the grounds that it had no reasonable prospect of success. There was no other compelling reason why it should be heard, the supreme court said in its judgment, which the Democratic Alliance posted on social media.
Public protector Thuli Madonsela found, in a report released in February 2014, that Motsoeneng had lied about his qualifications when he applied for the post of chief operating officer, that he hiked his salary from R1,5m to R2,4m in one year, and purged senior staff.
Despite these adverse findings, Muthambi confirmed his permanent appointment by the board.
In November 2015, Western Cape high court judge Dennis Davis found that Motsoeneng’s appointment was irrational and unlawful and set it aside. The DA had brought the application. On 23 May this year, Davis dismissed his application for leave to appeal. Motsoeneng then approached the appeals court.
The DA got a court order forcing the SABC to hold a disciplinary hearing against him, but he was cleared of the charges in December 2015.
R2K appealed to Motsoeneng not to take the matter to the constitutional court and continue buying time by dragging out legal processes using public money. It said his incompetence, misconduct and his inability to run a major public institution had become more glaring since Madonsela’s 2014 report.
On Tuesday, Motsoeneng reported for duty as an “ordinary employee”.
His lawyer, Zola Majavu, said the appeal related to his dismissal as chief operating officer, but he was still a full-time employee of the public broadcaster.
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said on Monday that he would comment once the SABC’s lawyers had studied the judgment.
R2K called for Muthambi and the entire SABC board to step down.
A new board should be reappointed through an open, transparent, and democratic process. Muthambi should no longer have the power to appoint the public broadcaster’s executives and good governance structures should be put in place, it said.