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‘The sooner Motsoeneng leaves the SABC, the better for SA’

The DA filed papers opposing Muthambi & the board’s petition for leave to appeal a High Court decision.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has argued in legal papers to the Supreme Court of Appeal that the sooner South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Chief Executive Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng is removed from his position, the better for all South Africans.

Member of Parliament (MP) James Selfe filed an affidavit today opposing Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and the SABC Board's petitions for leave to appeal an earlier court ruling against Motsoeneng.

Last year, Western Cape High Court Judge Dennis Davis found the COO's permanent appointment, in light of the damning findings made against him by the Public Protector, to be irrational and unlawful.

In papers supporting the SABC Board's petition, the public broadcaster argues Motsoeneng has done a good job, and that executives are happy with his performance.

But Selfe says Motsoeneng's performance is irrelevant in this case, because "the rule of law is not a popularity contest."

But he says if the SABC is correct and his performance is pertinent, it should be properly evaluated.

Selfe adds former acting CEO Jimi Matthews is not the only employee to express dismay over Motsoeneng's conduct, and a lack of faith in his leadership.

He cites Matthews's public resignation letter, and letters addressed to Motsoeneng by three SABC journalists, who are now facing internal disciplinary charges for speaking up.

The DA MP says several organisations have called for him to be removed from his position because of concerns about censorship and managerial interference in editorial decisions.