‘Verdict in Motsoeneng’s hearing is a farce & unsurprising’

Hlaudi Motsoeneng was found not guilty on charges of dishonesty, misconduct and abuse of power.

FILE: The SABC's Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Opposition parties have called the internal hearing ruling that Hlaudi Motsoeneng is not guilty of charges, a farce but say it's unsurprising.

The suspended South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Chief Operating Officer (COO) was found not guilty on charges of dishonesty, misconduct and abuse of power relating to charges of lying about his matric and increasing his salary.

Last month the Western Cape High Court ruled that his appointment as COO was unlawful and irrational when the Democratic Alliance (DA) applied to have Motsoeneng's appointment set aside.

The Economic Freedom Fighters' Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says it's unsurprising that Motsoeneng was let of the hook as he shares a relationship with President Jacob Zuma.

"He's part of what Jacob Zuma is busy with: taking down the country. In the end he's a creation of Jacob Zuma and it must be seen in that light."

The DA's James Selfe says the party wants a review of the decision.

"There was a predetermined result in mind and I think this is evidenced by the fact that the chairperson of the hearing was appointed less than a week ago."

Hearing chairperson Willem Edeling relied quite substantively on the evidence given by the only witness brought forward by the defence, Alwyn Kloppers, who testified that the SABC knew Motsoeneg did not have a matric.

"I therefore weigh the value of Mr Kloppers's evidence as the more probable and acceptable evidence of what transpired at the time."

The chairperson said it was not clear why the charge of gross misconduct, relating to creating a position for another staff member, was levelled against the COO and finding some of the evidence suspicious.

"Nobody testified why Mr Motsoeneng got the job, I have no clue why he was charged with that."