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Hlaudi exhausting all legal options to dodge suspension

Yesterday, he applied for leave to appeal a ruling to execute an order handed down in October last year.

FILE: Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture:  Reinart Toerien/EWN

CAPE TOWN - South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Chief Operations Chief (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng is exhausting all of his legal avenues to dodge a disciplinary hearing and suspension.

Yesterday, he applied for leave to appeal Western Cape High Court Judge Ashton Schippers's ruling to execute an order he handed down in October last year.

That order called for Motsoeneng's suspension pending an SABC disciplinary hearing into allegations that he lied about his matric qualifications, abused his position and purged senior SABC staff members.

Motsoeneng's legal team has moved quickly to shield him from facing a disciplinary hearing.

His lawyer Zola Majavu filed an application for leave to appeal the judge's ruling yesterday, which he says effectively suspends the order.

"I can assure you that money is not an issue, we are fighting on issues of principle here so we will take it all the way to the Constitutional Court if we have to."

In a written judgment, Schippers said it's in the public interest to suspend Motsoeneng.

For that reason, Schippers says the order he handed down in October must be implemented.

But, Motsoeneng has been given permission to challenge Schippers' October judgment in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

In the judgment last year, Schippers said the powers and functions of the Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela were not adjudicative.

Unlike an order or the decision of a court, a finding by the public protector is not binding on persons and organisations of the state.

If it was intended that the findings of the public protector should be binding and enforceable, the Constitution would have said so.

However, Schippers said that before rejecting the public protector's findings or remedial action, the relevant organ of state must have cogent reasons for doing so.

He said that when an organ of state rejects those findings or the remedial action, that decision must not be irrational.

The public protector launched an application for leave to appeal the parts of Schippers' judgment that called into question the extent of her powers.

Madonsela told the SABC board to take disciplinary steps against Motsoeneng for lying about his matric qualification, abuse of power and for purging senior staff at the SABC.

Madonsela yesterday welcomed the judgment and has applauded the manner in which Schippers handled the case.

"I would like to thank Judge Schippers for what, in my opinion, is an excellent judgment. I can't imagine that he could have arrived at a different decision than he did regarding the technicalities of request for our leave to appeal."