'SABC has flourished under Motsoeneng'

The DA is currently challenging Motsoeneng’s permanent appointment in the Western Cape High Court.

Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has flourished with Chief Operating Officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng at the helm.

That emerged in the Western Cape High Court where the Democratic Alliance (DA) is challenging Motsoeneng's permanent appointment.

The minister rubber stamped his appointment despite a Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report which found he lied about completing high school.

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

Muthambi's lawyer Vincent Maleka says the minister has a lot of confidence in Motsoeneng.

He told the court that Muthambi has listed 13 achievements by Motsoeneng during his time as acting COO.

Maleka says one of these is revenue generation and cost saving which gave the public broadcaster a R2 billion boost.

He argues this evidence refutes the DA's claim that Motsoeneng is a toxic influence at the SABC

Meanwhile, Madonsela has met with Muthambi to discuss the controversial appointment.

The public protector's spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi said the meeting followed the subpoena that was served on the minister in connection with the alleged irregular appointment of Motsoeneng.

Madonsela subpoenaed Muthambi earlier this month after she pressed ahead with Motsoeneng's appointment despite promising Parliament she would act on Madonsela's report.

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

At the same time, 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, has confirmed they are looking into allegations that SABC board chairperson Ellen Tshabalala lied about her credentials.