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Motsoeneng keeps his poker face

The SABC COO maintains his innocence despite a damning report by the Public Protector.

SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Acting South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Chief Operating Officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng maintains his innocence, despite Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's damning report.

The Public Protector's office on Monday found Motsoeneng's actions cost the public broadcaster R29 million.

This after the SABC had to settle several cases brought by people the COO had fired.

Motsoeneng's legal team claim he is being unfairly blamed.

Lawyer Zola Majavu spoke out on behalf of his client who sat confidently by his side.

He says Madonsela's report incorrectly states that Motsoeneng lied about having a matric qualification.

Majavu says Motsoeneng filled out symbols for subjects he had completed and the SABC arranged a bridging course in order for him to further his education.

The lawyer says his client received three pay increases because he moved from a managerial to an executive position.

Monday's report showed Motsoeneng's salary increased from R1,5 million to R2,4 million a year.

Majavu says it is now up to the SABC board to decide whether or not to accept Madonsela's recommendations.

Meanwhile, a group of opposition parties is calling for the speedy implementation of remedial measures at the broadcaster.

The Collective for Democracy, made up of six parties, on Wednesday laid fraud charges against the COO.

It called for Motsoeneng's suspension, pending disciplinary action.

The grouping wants the position to be filled by a suitably qualified person.