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Ben Ngubane explains Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s rise at the SABC

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo asked Ngubane to summarise Motsoeneng’s movement through the SABC’s upper levels after being brought in from the Free State regional office.

African Content Movement leader Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

PRETORIA - Former South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board chair Ben Ngubane has defended the rise of Hlaudi Motsoeneng in the corporation despite not having the required qualifications, saying he was skilled and capable of doing the job as he was hired to do.

Ngubane is testifying at the state capture commission of inquiry about Motsoeneng’s appointment and promotions, eventually to the level of chief operations officer (COO).

Motsoeneng was fired in June 2017.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo asked Ngubane to summarise Motsoeneng’s movement through the SABC’s upper levels after being brought in from the Free State regional office.

“He came in as stakeholder manager in the group chief executive office, he then gets promoted to group executive and after that, he gets appointed acting COO.”

Ngubane was asked how Motsoeneng’s massive salary hikes were justified.

“That would’ve been on previous performance, he succeeded as a stakeholder manager; there was a new challenge and he was sought to be able to do it. Just like going from that to becoming acting COO. It wasn’t a matter of qualifications, it was a matter of being able to do the job.”

He said the board knew Motsoeneng did not have a matric but he was able to perform.

Several witnesses have accused the controversial figure of acting with impunity and firing people for questioning his authority.

But Ngubane said Motsoeneng seemed to disagree.

“From there, things started happening because Hlaudi was seen as a troubleshooter and he was very proactive. I mean, with all the issues that came up, he would be there and hands-on. So, when he got elevated to exco, that’s when he came prominence.”