'Zuma had no input in Hlaudi decision'

The Minister denies claims she consulted with Zuma before appointing Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says she wants to reiterate that she did not consult President Jacob Zuma before deciding to appoint Hlaudi Motsoeneng as chief operations officer (COO) of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Acting government spokesperson Phumla Williams says Muthambi completely denies claims that she spoke to the president before appointing Motsoeneng

"According to the minister, the claim is completely wrong. The statement that she has issued that she applied her mind based on the input she has received from the board is the truth."

The presidency has also stressed Zuma had no role to play in the decision.

Pressure appears to be growing on Muthambi with the Democratic Alliance c hallenging the decision in court, the African National Congress saying it wants someone suitably qualified in the job and the South African Communist Party saying Motsoeneng is simply not the right person for the job.

The decision to appoint Motsoeneng permanently has been taken despite Muthambi agreeing to comply with an adverse finding by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela recommending his suspension.

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

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

A fresh probe has since been launched by Madonsela into Motsoeneng's permanent appointment.

FRESH QUALIFICATIONS DEBACLE

At the same time, Transnet says the public enterprises ministry is now looking into whether its board member Zandile Tshabalala lied after reports that she didn't have two of the qualifications she claimed she had.

The _City Press _has reported that Tshabalala lied to Parliament about a degree and a diploma before she was also appointed chair of the SABC.

Transnet spokesperson Mboniso Sigonyela says this isn't an issue they can deal with at the moment.

"The department does appoint board members. It's going to look into the matter and they will give guidance as to what their view is."