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SABC has 14 days to serve Motsoeneng with a list of charges

The SCA yesterday dismissed the COO’s bid to stop his suspension, as directed by the Public Prosecutor.

FILE. SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s supporters outside court on 18 September 2015. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it's studying the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA)'s judgment concerning its Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and will consult internally before deciding on a way forward.

The court dismissed Motsoeneng's appeal against a Western Cape High Court order that he be suspended pending the outcome of a disciplinary process.

The COO's legal woes began when the Democratic Alliance (DA) took the SABC to court for failing to take disciplinary action against him, as directed by the Public Protector, whose office probed governance failures at the public broadcaster.

The SABC board now has 14 days to serve him with a list of charges.

The public broadcaster has not indicated whether it will comply, saying it will consult with all the relevant internal authorities before deciding on a way forward.

Motsoeneng's lawyer Zola Majavu says the ball is in the SABC's court.

"So our attitude is that we will wait for the employer to then give effect to the court order, in so far as the disciplinary proceedings are concerned, and we will oblige accordingly."

Meanwhile, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has welcomed the judgment, saying it confirms that once she's made a decision, it must be implemented - unless her report is successfully reviewed in court.

'MADONSELA AS A WATCHDOG SHOULD NOT BE MUZZLED'

Opposition parties have also welcomed the court's confirmation that the Public Protector's remedial action should not be ignored or trumped by the findings of parallel investigations.

In the judgment dismissing Motsoeneng's bid to stop his suspension, the SCA said Madonsela as a watchdog should not be muzzled.

The parties are aware that the judgment has ramifications for President Jacob Zuma and the executive's handling of the Nkandla scandal.

The DA's James Selfe says, "It has major implications for the force and effect of the of remedial action taken by the Public Protector, with obvious implications for what she said about Nkandla."

Economic Freedom Front (EFF) spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, says the judgment is a boost for the party's 'pay back the money' campaign.

"We call on President Zuma to do the right thing - commit to pay back the money. Give us a date and time and the method of payment, so that the South African people can once and for all move beyond this question."

Congress of the People (Cope)'s Dennis Bloem says Zuma must abide by the Public Protector's remedial action.

"Nobody can question the findings and recommendations of the Public Protector."

The Public Protector found the president benefited unduly from the non-security features, which formed part of the R246 million Nkandla project.