Hlaudi Motsoeneng's appeal to be heard at SCA today

In April he was granted leave to appeal the ruling & it was agreed that he should continue working.

FILE: SABC Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Pictur: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Chief Operations Officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng's appeal against a High Court order that he be suspended pending a disciplinary hearing is set to be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein today.

Last year, the Western Cape High Court ordered the SABC board to charge Motsoeneng and institute disciplinary proceedings over his alleged abuse of power, lying about his qualifications and purging staff members.

In April he was granted leave to appeal the ruling and it was agreed that he could continue working until the Supreme Court of Appeal decides whether he should be suspended.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that the SABC board should take action against Motsoeneng but instead the board recommended that he be appointed as COO on a permanent basis.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi endorsed the board's decision.

The Democratic Alliance then took the matter to the High Court where Judge Ashton Schippers ordered action to be taken against Motsoeneng but concluded that the public protector's findings are not binding and enforceable.

Today, the SCA will hear arguments before deciding whether or not he should be suspended.

Lawyers are also expecting the court to provide clarity on the public protector's powers, an issue of much debate in light of her report into the Nkandla spending debacle.

MADONSELA AWAITS SCA'S CLARITY ON HER POWER

In July, the public protector said she was eagerly anticipating the SCA's judgment on whether the people she makes findings against are obliged to implement her recommendations.

Madonsela argued that no one would question the recommendations of the auditor general, so she didn't understand why her findings were being second guessed.

"You can't, after the auditor general has issued audit findings... I can't appoint my own audit committee for example to re-audit me and say the auditor general was wrong. But for some strange reason people think you can do that with the public protector. I've never understood that; it wasn't like that until very recently."

In response to her findings, the board appointed a law firm to investigate the issues and that firm cleared Motsoeneng of any wrong doing.