Motsoeneng appeal to go to the Supreme Court of Appeal

The SABC’s COO will appeal a court ruling that he be charged and undergo a disciplinary proceeding.

FILE: Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng can continue reporting for work until the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) decides whether he should be suspended by the public broadcaster's board.

His lawyer Zola Majavu said, "That position will remain unaltered until the SCA pronounces otherwise or unless parties reach some other arrangement."

On 24 October 2014 Judge Ashton Schippers ordered the public broadcaster's board to serve Motsoeneng with charges and institute disciplinary proceedings against him for, among other things, his alleged abuse of power, lying about his qualifications and purging staff at the SABC.

Schippers's ruling followed a finding by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that the SABC board should take action against Motsoeneng.

But instead of implementing Madonsela's remedial action, the board recommended to Communications Minister Faith Muthambi that Motsoeneng, who was the acting COO, be made permanent.

Muthambi endorsed the board's decision and Motsoeneng took the reigns in a permanent capacity.

As far as his legal battles go, on 23 April 2015 Motsoeneng was granted permission to appeal Schippers's judgment at the SCA.

The Democratic Alliance's James Selfe says the appeal will be expedited at the SCA.

"The judges interacted with the SCA and got an assurance that the matter would be heard on an expedited basis."

At the same time, the DA successfully convinced Schippers to force the SABC to carry out his order, despite the pending appeal.

Again, to avoid being suspended, Motsoeneng's legal team filed an application for leave to appeal the execution order to a full bench of the Western Cape High Court.

The matter was scheduled for argument in Cape Town today.

But instead, all parties have agreed to deal with the issue on an expedited basis at the appeal court in Bloemfontein.

Lawyers expect to argue their case at the SCA in September.

POWERS OF PUBLIC PROTECTOR

Lawyers involved in the SABC case expect the SCA to provide clarity on the powers of the public protector.

Schippers last year ruled that Madonsela's findings were not binding and enforceable.

However, he added that the decision to ignore the office's findings could not be irrational.

Madonsela's powers have been an issue of much debate in light of her report into the Nkandla spending debacle.

Last year, she found President Jacob Zuma unduly benefited from the non-security features that formed part of the R246 million project to secure his private home in KwaZulu-Natal.

She said National Treasury in conjunction with the police ministry should determine how much Zuma should pay for the non-security features, which including a swimming pool and visitor's centre.

Instead, Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko released a report last week absolving Zuma of financial liability for the upgrades.

Nhleko assessed all of the features installed at the homestead and concluded that they are all there for the president's security.