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SABC has until Friday to launch legal fightback to keep Motsoeneng

Western Cape High Court Judge Denis Davis set aside Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s appointment as irrational.

FILE: SABC Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has until the end of the week to launch a legal fightback to keep its Chief Operating Officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng in his position, after Western Cape High Court Judge Dennis Davis set aside his appointment as irrational.

The public broadcaster and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi have until Friday to petition the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to hear their case.

Last month, Judge Davis dismissed their application for leave to appeal his ruling.

When Davis handed down his ruling last year, he said Muthambi was " in no position to exercise a rational decision" to promote Motsoeneng, whose tenure as acting COO had already been placed in severe doubt.

Both the SABC and Muthambi are quickly running out of legal room to maneuver.

Their fight started in 2014 when the Democratic Alliance (DA) went to court to challenge Motsoeneng's permanent appointment, which was made just a few months after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a damning report into his conduct at the public broadcaster.

Madonsela investigated claims that Motsoeneng misrepresented his qualifications, purged senior staff members at the SABC, abused his power and got three salary increases in one year.

The DA says the setting aside of Motsoeneng's appointment is an opportunity to get the SABC back on track.