Hlaudi Motsoeneng will be holding a press conference in a few hours – a stone’s throw from the SABC’s head office in Auckland Park in Johannesburg.
Despite being stripped of his title as chief operations officer at the public broadcaster after a court set aside his appointment, he has indicated that he would like to address the nation on the following:
1. His response to the parliamentary ad hoc committee recommendations;
2.The financial state at the SABC from 2012-2016;
3. 90% local content;
4. Security vetting for SABC staff;
5. Multichoice contract;
6. The ruling of the Labour Court; and
7. The new SABC board members.
His press conference will take place on Wednesday at the Garden Court Milpark Hotel, down the road from the SABC headquarters.
Phumzile van Damme, Democratic Alliance member of Parliament and spokesperson on communication, said that while Motsoeneng was entitled to address the media as a private individual, he had no mandate to speak on behalf of the SABC.
“He should in fact currently be in the middle of a disciplinary inquiry against him.”
Van Damme referred to a December 2016 ruling by the Western Cape High Court that found the appointment of Motsoeneng as the SABC’s group executive of corporate affairs unlawful and irrational. “The court held that Motsoeneng may not hold any position at the SABC until he has faced a satisfactory disciplinary hearing and/or the findings and remedial action by the Public Protector have been reviewed and set aside by another court,” said Van Damme.
The Western Cape High Court held that the SABC’s interim board, once appointed, should within two weeks, deliver a letter setting out the disciplinary charges against Motsoeneng and appoint a new chairperson to oversee the proceedings.
According to Van Damme the board should have done this by April 13.
She said she would write to chairperson of the board, Khanyisile Kweyama, to request that the steps against Motsoeneng would be implemented immediately.
“As chief operating officer of the SABC, Motsoeneng exerted a toxic influence on the public broadcaster which has brought the SABC to the brink of near collapse. He cannot be allowed to continue to draw a single cent from South Africa’s public broadcaster.”
The new interim board now had an uphill battle on their hands but “must not be deterred by Motsoeneng’s continued acts of defiance. They must act decisively to hold him to account for his role in weakening the SABC,” she said.
On Tuesday morning, Kweyama said by SMS that she was swamped with work, and referred queries to SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.
Kganyago said the board, treasury and communications ministry – now under the leadership of Ayanda Dlodlo after Faith Muthambi was moved to the Public Service and Administration portfolio in President Jacob Zuma’s dramatic late-night Cabinet shuffle – had set up a joint committee to resolve the SABC’s money problems.
No amount could at this stage be linked to a possible loan guarantee from the Treasury for the SABC.
He also said there wasn’t a possibility that the SABC staff would not be paid.
The interim board has meanwhile been divided into sub committees.
While there is speculation that the board intended to repeal Motsoeneng’s controversial policy that 90% of the content on SABC radio stations should be local, Kganyago said it had not yet been discussed.
Asked whether it was true if the board members worked through the Easter weekend, Kganyago said: “They only have six months.”