WC High Court orders Motsoeneng's suspension

The WC High Court has ordered the SABC COO be suspended pending the outcome of a disciplinary process.

SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: Sapa

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape High Court has ordered the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to institute disciplinary proceedings against its Chief Operating Officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Judge Aston Schippers says Motsoeneng should be suspended pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) took the public broadcaster and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to court after a decision was taken to make Motsoengeng's appointment permanent.

Judge Schippers handed down judgment in the DA's urgent application this morning.

He ordered the SABC board to serve Motsoeneng with a notice of charges within 14 days for alleged dishonesty relating to his qualifications.

The judge says the charges should also include the abuse of power, improper conduct and Motsoeneng's role in the alleged suspension and dismissal of senior SABC staff members.

Schippers says an independent person must reside over the disciplinary process which must be completed in 60 calendar days.

Present in court today were Motsoeneng's supporters who wore T-shirts bearing his face.

Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis was also on hand to hear the judgment.

"It's a great day for every South African who cares about public broadcasting in our country," he said.

Motsoeneng's lawyer has already indicated he will launch an appeal.

Earlier this year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela recommended disciplinary action be taken against him after he lied about passing matric.

Despite this, the board decided to make his appointment as acting COO permanent.


Motsoeneng earned R2,87 million last year which is more than the earnings of President Jacob Zuma.

Two months ago, Muthambi revealed the figure in a written reply to a DA Parliamentary question.

Muthambi said Motsoeneng's salary rose from just over R1,6 million in 2011 to nearly R2,5 million in 2012.

"It was revealed in Parliament that Motsoeneng earns R2,8 million a year which is more than the president. Zuma earns R2,6 million a year."

Davis said in 2010, Motsoeneng was earning around R330,000 a year as a radio producer.

He also gave himself three salary increases in one year.

Muthambi has since defended her move to make his position permanent.

She said aside from raking in more than R2 billion for the SABC during his tenure as acting COO, Motsoeneng also improved staff morale and stability.

The minister listed 13 achievements by the embattled COO to explain her reasons for permanently appointing him, despite Madonsela's damning findings.