SABC to appeal High Court ruling on Hlaudi Motsoeneng

The court declared the SABC's appointment of COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng as ‘unlawful and irrational’.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The SABC and the communications minister will appeal today's High Court ruling which declared the appointment of its chief operations officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng 'unlawful and irrational'.

Judge Dennis Davis handed down judgement this morning in the matter between the Democratic Alliance, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and communications minister Faith Muthambi.

It comes after the Supreme Court of Appeals ruled against them in a case around the status of the Public protector's findings against Motsoeneng.

Thuli Madonsela found that he had lied about his qualifications, and abused his power and improperly increased salaries including his own.

In response to the public protector's report, the SABC hired a firm of attorneys that effectively exonerated Motsoeneng.

On the basis of this report, the minister confirmed a board recommendation to appoint him last year.

Judge Davis said the minister's decision was incongruent with legality.

However, he also ruled that Motsoeneng could be eligible for the position if he is cleared by the disciplinary hearing.

The SABC says its studying the judgment while the minister has released a statement saying she believes another court may reach a different conclusion.

Meanwhile, Motsoeneng says he's not going to comment on his appointment as COO of the SABC being struck down.

Motsoeneng and the corporation's Chief Executive Officer, Frans Matlala, are on suspension.

In a statement, Minister Muthambi says she will appeal the High Court ruling claiming that another court may reach a different decision.

The DA's Phumzile van Damme says Motsoeneng is responsible for the situation the national broadcaster is in right now.

"He has been a significant contributing factor to a lot of the problems at the SABC. We believe that removing him could bring some stability."