SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng will report for duty as an “ordinary employee” on Tuesday, his lawyer Zola Majavu has said.
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.
Majavu said Motsoeneng’s appeal related to his dismissal as chief operating officer, but he was still a full-time employee of the public broadcaster.
“You must remember, he was a member of the executive before he was appointed by the board. The appointment that was set aside was just his appointment as COO. The employer must just decide in which capacity he is going to work,” he said.
SABC spokesman Kaiser Kganyago said he would comment once the SABC’s lawyers had studied the judgment. He said the judgment affected not only Motsoeneng, but the entire SABC.
The ministry of communications said it noted the SCA’s judgment.
“The ministry is studying the judgment and is confident that the board of the SABC will make an informed decision on how it intends to handle this ruling,” spokesman Mish Molakeng said in a statement.
Motsoeneng’s application for leave to appeal 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 lied about his qualifications when he applied for the post of COO, that he hiked his salary from R1,5m to R2,4m in one year, and purged senior staff.
Despite these adverse findings, communications minister Faith Muthambi confirmed his permanent appointment by the board.
In November 2015, the Western Cape high court found Motsoeneng’s appointment was irrational and unlawful and set it aside. The DA brought the application. On 23 May this year, judge Dennis Davis dismissed his application for leave to appeal.
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.