DA calls for action over Motsoeneng's control at SABC

Revised editorial policy gives COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng total control of the SABC's content & programming.

FILE: SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to withdraw the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)'s revised editorial policy which gives COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng total control of the public broadcaster's content and programming.

The policy was finalised in February this year and approved by the SABC board.

But the official opposition says a draft version of the policy was not subjected to a thorough public consultation process.

The revised policy makes Motsoeneng's decision on all editorial issues final.

DA MP Phumzile van Damme says giving Motsoeneng total control of the SABC's content will seriously compromise the broadcaster's editorial independence.

Van Damme has described him as a political appointee, beholden to the minister.

Last year, the Western Cape High Court ordered that Motsoeneng's permanent appointment be set aside.

The DA took the matter to court believing there was a strong legal case that his promotion in 2014 was irrational and unlawful given the Public Protector's findings against him.

Thuli Madonsela had released a report that found Motsoeneng misrepresented his qualifications and purged senior staff among other serious irregularities.

An application for leave to appeal the high court's ruling is yet to be heard.