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SABC lawyers back in court over Motsoeneng saga

The DA wants the court to review and set aside Motsoeneng’s permanent appointment as COO.

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) lawyers are back in the Western Cape High Court for the latest installment of the legal saga involving its Chief Operations Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants the court to review and set aside Motsoeneng's permanent appointment as COO.

The opposition party says it was irrational to promote him considering the Public Protector's findings that he misrepresented his matric qualifications, allegedly abused his power and increased his salary three times in one year.

The DA wants two decisions reviewed and set aside; the SABC board's recommendation in July last year to appoint Motsoeneng as COO and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi's approval of that decision.

Last year, Muthambi said she obtained independent legal opinion before ratifying the permanent appointment of Motsoeneng.

But she refused to disclose the grounds on which she'll oppose the DA's court challenge.

The party's Phumzile van Damme says the DA is challenging the validity of the decision to permanently appoint him as COO.

"We're now seeking for that specific appointment to be set aside as irrational."

Last week, the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein dismissed Motsoeneng's bid to avoid being suspended pending the outcome of a disciplinary process.

The public broadcaster has announced it intends approaching the highest court in the land to appeal an order compelling it to suspend Motsoeneng, pending the outcome of a disciplinary process.