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SABC won’t justify spending R3m on choir

Minister Faith Muthambi says the choir is often hired to sing songs of praise for COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

FILE: South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it will not justify its spending of R3 million on its choir.

The Democratic Alliance says the expense was revealed this week in response to a Parliamentary question to Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, who says the choir is often hired to sing songs of praise for Chief Operations Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The broadcaster has fired back accusing the party of interfering in internal matters.

Spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago says the choir is an important stakeholder in the company.

"The DA can't want the running of the SABC by a remote control, and want to tell us what to do and what not to do. We are accountable and they've got an opportunity when it comes to Parliament to raise questions if they've got issues."

HLAUDI MOTSOENENG

In April, Motsoeneng was exhausting all of his legal avenues to dodge a disciplinary hearing and suspension.

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 had 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, which he said effectively suspends the order.

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

For that reason, Schippers said 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.

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