DA 'jumping the gun' in Motsoeneng case

Vincent Maleka says the DA should've waited for a deadline set by Madonsela before approaching the court.

The Democratic Alliance wants SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng removed pending a full investigation. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has been accused of jumping the gun by asking the Western Cape High Court to set aside the permanent appointment of South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Chief Operating Officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Motsoeneng was permanently appointed to the position last month by Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, despite a damning report released by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, recommending he be replaced by a more suitable candidate.

Muthambi's advocate, Vincent Maleka, says while he respects Madonsela's findings, her report does not enjoy special status.

He called it an "evidential document" and asked the court not to rely too heavily on it.

Madonsela's report stated that Motsoeneng 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.

Madonsela has urged the SABC to take remedial action including removing Motsoeneng from the post.

Muthambi's lawyer, however stressed the report did not state the SABC COO should be fired.

He says the DA should've waited for a deadline set by Madonsela before approaching the court.

He cautions the party's case may harm current talks between the pubic protector and the minister aiming to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, a preliminary Parliamentary inquiry is underway into a potential debacle surrounding the qualifications of another SABC official.

The chairperson of the communications portfolio committee, Joyce Moloi-Moropa, confirmed they are looking into allegations SABC board chairperson Ellen Tshabalala lied about her credentials.