Motsoeneng cements his power

SABC has confirmed Hlaudi Motsoeneng's position as its COO has been made permanent.

SABC has confirmed Hlaudi Motsoeneng's position as its COO has been made permanent. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has confirmed that Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been permanently appointed as its Chief Operating Officer (COO) in a board meeting which saw him retain his position by a vote of seven to five.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says Motsoeneng's appointment will bring certainty and stability to the public broadcaster.

In a statement released on the SABC's website, Muthambi says confidence has been restored in the SABC.

"I believe the appointment will bring the necessary certainty to the SABC management and board. It is therefore imperative that the SABC board and management proceed with the necessary confidence."

Motsoeneng has been acting COO for several years now.

Muthambi said three SABC boards have recognised the good work Motsoeneng has done at the public broadcaster and her predecessors have also agreed with them.

The decision to appoint Motsoeneng permanently has been taken despite Muthumbi having agreed to comply with an adverse finding by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela recommending his suspension following a probe into maladministration at the corporation.

Madonsela said Motsoeneng's actions cost the SABC R29 million after it had to settle several cases brought by the people Motsoeneng had fired.

Her investigation also showed that Motsoeneng received three appraisals which increased his salary from R1.5 million to R2.4 million a year.

She also found Motsoeneng's appointment was irregular, stating that he committed fraud by lying about his matric qualification.

Motsoeneng has also come under fire recently for suggesting journalists should be licensed and over claims that he received a wife as a gift from Venda chiefs.

Last week, the SABC board appeared before Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Communication and SABC chairperson Ellen Zandile Tshabalala told members of Parliament that there was no basis to suspend Motsoeneng because of his good performance.