Motsoeneng hire a 'dark day for democracy': DA - TechCentral

Motsoeneng hire a ‘dark day for democracy’: DA

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Democratic Alliance MP and spokesman on communications Gavin Davis has described the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as permanent chief operating officer of the SABC as a “dark day for democracy”.

Communications minister Faith Muthambi reportedly announced on Tuesday night that the controversial Motsoeneng, who recently called for journalists to be licensed, would get the job permanently after acting in the position for the past two years.

“Motsoeneng has been given a renewed mandate to continue his reign of terror at the public broadcaster,” Davis said in a statement. “We can expect more surveillance and purging of SABC staff, more clampdowns on editorial independence and more ‘happy news’ that reflects positively on the governing party.

“When the public protector [Thuli Madonsela] concluded that Mr Motsoeneng had lied about having matric and given himself irregular salary increases while acting chief operating officer, she recommended the appointment of a new COO within 90 days. It is unlikely that this is the appointment she had in mind,” Davis said.

“Motsoeneng should have been suspended and disciplined following the public protector’s report, not promoted. And yet Motsoeneng’s career continues to flourish. Just last week, the chair of the SABC board [Zandile Tshabalala] told the portfolio committee that there is ‘no basis’ upon which to suspend him.

“Motsoeneng has earned a reputation as a [Joseph] Goebbels-like figure at the centre of President [Jacob] Zuma’s propaganda machine. This appointment will only increase perceptions that he remains at the SABC because his usefulness to the ANC trumps all other considerations.

Davis said the DA has requested its lawyers to assess whether the appointment is reviewable in the courts in light of the findings and recommendations contained in Madonsela’s report.  — © 2014 NewsCentral Media

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