The SABC’s embattled chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng wants his upcoming disciplinary hearing broadcast live on television for all South Africans to see.
The SABC has finally started disciplinary proceedings against its controversial and famously matricless operations chief with a hearing set for 30 October, but has not suspended Motsoeneng — the crux of one of the ongoing protracted and costly court battles in which he is entangled.
Outside the Western Cape high court on Wednesday, SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago refused to say on what grounds Motsoeneng had been served with a disciplinary hearing, but it was likely to include several issues specified in the public protector’s scathing report of February 2014.
After the damning report, the SABC did not suspend Motsoeneng and did not initiate a disciplinary hearing, but rather permanently appointed him as chief operating officer.
The public protector implicated Motsoeneng in maladministration and abuse of power at the SABC; hiking his multimillion-rand salary three times in one year; purging senior SABC staff; and for lying about having matric and making up symbols for a matric certificate he knew he could not produce.
Observers wondered how Motsoeneng could properly do his job while being in court constantly for full days as the SABC’s second highest executive. He is now being paid more than President Jacob Zuma after his salary shot up by almost another R1m in the past financial year.
Now Motsoeneng wants his disciplinary hearing televised live to the nation.
Motsoeneng’s lawyer, Zola Majavu, said his client wanted the public to see first hand his disciplinary inquiry on TV. It would give the millions of South African viewers the chance to see directly the live proceedings of the disciplinary case and to follow the events undistorted.
Motsoeneng “would have no difficulty if those proceedings are televised live. I think that will afford all South Africans the chance to hear first-hand what really happened,” Majavu said.
On Wednesday, Judge Dennis Davis said it appeared the SABC thought Motsoeneng was “the best thing since sliced bread”.
In his affidavit, Motsoeneng said: “My dignity will be severely severely prejudiced if I am pre-emptively suspended and prevented from carrying out my functions as chief operating officer and as an employee of the SABC, creating an impression in the eyes of the public that I am already guilty of the charges that are to be instituted against me”. — News24