The Western Cape high court on Monday upheld its earlier ruling that Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s appointment was irrational, but the SABC chief operating officer has vowed to take his fight to the Constitutional Court if need be.
The high court dismissed the SABC and Motsoeneng’s application for leave to appeal its November 2015 ruling that his appointment was irrational and unlawful, and must be set aside.
Democratic Alliance federal chairman James Selfe said the party was pleased with the outcome of the case.
“The setting aside of the appointment and suspension of Mr Motsoeneng is an opportunity to start getting the SABC back on track,” he said.
It was an indictment of communications minister Faith Muthambi who he said had persistently disregarded the law. She had “managed the SABC as her personal fiefdom, subject only to her patron, President Jacob Zuma”.
Speaking outside the high court, Motsoeneng said he respected the courts and would abide by its rulings, but that public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on his appointment was “misleading the country”.
Her report, entitled “When Governance and Ethics Fail”, was released in February 2014.
She found he lied about his qualifications when he applied for the post of chief operating officer, increased his salary from R1,5m to R2,4m in one year, purged senior staff, and irregularly increased the salaries of various staff members.
Despite this, Muthambi permanently appointed him to the post. The DA then took the matter to court.
“It’s important for me to say I respect the office of the public protector, but I don’t respect the misleading facts in that report,” Motsoeneng said.