SABC initiates disciplinary proceedings against Motsoeneng

SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has not been suspended despite the discplinary action.

FILE: The SABC Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein for his appeal against a High Court order that he be suspended pending a disciplinary hearing. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has initiated disciplinary proceedings against its COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, but he has not been suspended.

Last week, the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld an order compelling the SABC to suspend Motsoeneng pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.

A day later, the public broadcaster instructed its lawyers to launch a Constitutional Court appeal against the suspension order.

Last year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela directed the broadcaster's board to take appropriate disciplinary action against Motsoeneng for improper conduct, alleged abuse of power and misrepresenting his qualifications.

When the board, instead, recommended him for permanent appointment, the Democratic Alliance took the SABC and Motsoeneng to court.

The SABC argued the application is premature because Motsoeneng is still to face a disciplinary hearing as directed by the Public Protector.

Motsoeneng was recommended for permanent appointment on the same day that he wrote a letter to the SABC board chairperson requesting it.

The position was not advertised and no other candidates were considered for the job.

SABC's attorney Titus Mchunu says, "I can clarify that wouldn't cover the issue of the disciplinary hearing but at this point it does cover suspension."

The Democratic Alliance says it is tired of waiting.

It's warning that if the SABC does not suspend Motsoeneng today, it will approach a court seeking an order holding the public broadcaster in contempt of court.