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LIVE BLOG: Motsoeneng: I introduced Guptas to some SABC execs to cut costs

Motsoeneng has been accused of massive interference in the functioning of the SABC newsroom for political interests.

WATCH LIVE: Hlaudi Motsoeneng at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry Day 2

The Zondo Inquiry adjourns proceedings for the day. Motsoeneng will continue with his testimony tomorrow. 


Motsoneneng says they only had three transmitters for SABC 1, 2, 3 during a period of analogue. So Multichoice was the only option. 

Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan initially rejected the launch of the channel because Treasury had no funds to sustain the channel. 

Motsoeneng says he then says he took a decision to negotiate with Multichoice after consulting with the former SABC board chair Ben Ngubane. He says Ngubane gave him the go-ahead. 

Chief Justice Zondo asked why the SABC had to go to Multichoice to launch a 24-hour news channel.

Motsoeneng says this was because Multichoice was the only platform that could spread news for the SABC. 

Motsoeneng says this was to strengthen the SABC's competition in the news market against privately-owned channel eNews (now known as eNCA). 

The commission is now dealing with the Multichoice and SABC 24-hour news channel agreement.

Motsoeneng gives context: "Multichoice and SABC, we have been working together when it comes to sports rights when it comes to other issues when it comes to broadcasting issues. The issue that was a concern, not for me not for the SABC, was why the SABC was not having a 24-hour news channel."

Motsoeneng says he introduced some SABC execs like Mokhobo to the Guptas to form a relationship that would cut costs for the state broadcaster. He makes an example of the SABC using the Guptas's private jet. He says since flying can be costly, using the controversial family's jet could have helped cut costs for commuting. 

The commission is now dealing with Motsoeneng's appointment as the COO. 

He says some members of the board were reluctant because he did not have a matric certificate. "People were thinking it's a favour... and I believed I deserved it."


Motsoeneng accuses the SABC of hiding information. Chief Justice Zondo says he must tell the commission's legal team what information he wants and they will get it. 

Motsoeneng says people were trying to tarnish his name using the Public Protector's report, which he says was wrong. The Public Protector he is referring to is advocate Thuli Madonsela. 

Motsoeneng says he wants to clarify about the purges at the SABC: "The truth... I have submitted even the resolutions of the board and I was not even involved... and those people did not complain about me."


Advocate Norman now refers to Motsoeneng's statement. 

The commission is now dealing with accusations that Motsoeneng purged certain employees. 


Zondo says that line from the SABC's editorial policy does not contravene what the Icasa Act says about 'glamourising' public violence. 

Motsoeneng responds: "I agree with you but not the unlawful one [protests]."

Justice Zondo goes back to the broadcasting of violent visuals. He is now reading the SABC's editorial policy on violence:

To broadcast programmes or scenes containing images of violence if they are needed in order to portray messages of importance or context.

Motsoeneng says this policy cannot override the Icasa Act. 

"The problem within the SABC, our policy is not even aligned with the business of the SABC," Motsoeneng added.

"The president of the country must account to the issues of the country... he must be given more time on those issues to explain." Motsoeneng says this was not just because it was Zuma, the same was done during former President Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela's tenure. 

Some of the submission made thus far at the Zondo commission was that Motsoeneng interfered in the newsroom to protect former President Jacob Zuma. 

Motsoeneng says he was reiterating that the SABC 'respect' Zuma because he was the president. "I said to them, you must make sure that there is a difference that there is a difference between the president of the country and the president of the ANC," he adds. 

Motsoeneng says he wanted more women analysts in programmes and had an issue with the use of newspapers that he felt the SABC was promoting but the publications were not. 

He says his understanding of what the Icasa Act says about broadcasting violence: "You may show... but you may not show explicit visuals."

Motsoeneng says what we see in the media are all negative stories and no positive. He says the media is not even attempting to 'balance' stories in terms of reporting. Says the media portrays black people as 'useless'.

Motsoeneng says this is when you broadcast visuals that are not in the public interest. 

Chief Justice Zondo is now asking Motsoeneng what he would consider as 'glamourising' violent action visuals, taking into account what the Icasa Act says.

And the commission continues with Motsoeneng's testimony. The inquiry is now dealing with the dismissal of some of the 'SABC 8'.

Lunch break, back at 2pm...

"Some of these judges are captured." Motsoeneng said.

Motsoeneng said it was unfair of the court to ask him to pay costs of his legal battles because he didn't get a chance to tell his story.

Chair Zondo talks about suspended SABC journalists

In case you missed it...

Motsoeneng said all broadcasters reported to him and that strategy worked well.

Adv Normal now deals with the editorial policy at the SABC...

Motsoeneng agrees that he told journalists to go look for jobs elsewhere if they weren't happy with the SABC's direction.

Motsoeneg confirms he said: "We are cleaning up, the people are doing their own stuff. There are many journalists outside who want to work with the SABC."

Motsoeneng concedes that he told journalists that he was cleaning up SABC. Adds that he asked everyone to adhere to SABC policy.

"I'm not here to defend or mislead the commission. I wasn't aware that they were recording." Motsoeneng replies to Pillay's statement.

Motsoeneng said suspended SABC journalists were suspended because of talking to the media and not because of the banning of protest visuals.

Motsoeneng said he wasn't involved in the suspending of journalists.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng denies saying the SABC must not cover protests. 

Advocate Norman asks Motsoeneng used his powers as SABC COO to deal with government issues.

Motsoeneng maintains that showing of visuals of protests, specifically burning property, is unlawful. 

Inquiry takes a tea break. Will be back at 11:40

Chair Zondo continues to read the SABC statement on visuals of protests.

Motsoeneng said even Facebook banned explicit visuals on their platform.

Motsoeneng clarifies his move to ban visuals of protests.

Motsoeneng says he did not tell reporters not to cover violent protests. He says he told reporters to be responsible when covering sensitive stories.

Adv Norman asks if people who overrode his decision went through disciplinary or were fired...

"The question is who are the people who made this decision?" Chair Zondo asks Motsoeneng.

Motsoeneng: I took that decision and I stand by the decision. I take ownership on what I did. I consulted Jimmy Matthews

The former SABC COO tells the advocate the statement is correct. "That statement demonstrates that people are responsible."

Advocate Norman reads out a statement from the SABC that said it would not show visuals of protests in the country and destruction of public property.

Motsoeneng is adamant that the decision to not show protests was to be responsible. He maintains the aim was to be responsible.

Motsoeneng defends the way he implemented the policy to not show visuals of protests where schools and public property was burnt. 

Motsoeneng said the 90% local content policy went through the necessary steps and management.

Motsoeneng goes through the editorial policy at the SABC

Motsoeneng said he was invited to lecture at Wits but wasn't employed by Wits University.

Advocate Norman asks Motsoeneng about the policy department at the broadcaster and what the department does...

Chairperson Raymond Zondo opens the day with looking back at Motosoeneng's testimony.

Motsoeneng focused on the lack of his matric certificate on Tuesday during his testimony.

God morning and welcome back to the blog about former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng on his tenure at the public broadcaster.

Proceedings adjourn for the day. The Zondo commission will continue with Motsoeneng's testimony tomorrow. 

Motsoeneng says his understanding of broadcasting public violence was that the SABC newsroom was meant to show visuals of certain protests. This understanding he says, comes from the Broadcasting Act. 

Says he was abiding accordingly to the Broadcasting Act which said 'glamaroutising" violent acts was unlawful. 

Motsoeneng says he told the newsroom they could show visuals of protests but there were some visuals he prohibited them from showing. 

Last week, some members of the 'SABC 8' testified how Motsoeneng instructed the newsroom not to report on public violence. One journalist, Krivani Pillay accused him of editorial interference. 

His response: "It was my job to interfere."

Yikes... and the Wits Business School refutes claims of Motsoeneng being a lecturer. He apparently was just a guest speaker 

Motsoeneng blames the sales division for giving discounts to when it came to selling the "value" of the SABC. 

Motsoeneng says the SABC board is misleading the public for saying his 90% local policy caused revenue loss. "When we introduced local content, I must be honest, some advertisers were not happy. But they were not happy with the [previous] content we had."

Motsoeneng says he can attest the new board doesn't know anything about broadcasting for criticising his 90% local policy. 

"When I introduced 90-10, all people were excited," Motsoeneng says. 

Motsoeneng: I believe in us before I can believe in other people.

Motsoeneng is now explaining why he implemented his 90% local policy

The short break is over.

Short break...

He said he was appointed permanently as COO in 2014.

Advocate Norman reads evidence of a position of COO  being advertised at the SABC in 2013. This comes after Motsoeneng said it wasn't advertised. 

Motsoeneng said the COO post was not advertised.

Motsoeneng details the letter of appointment as COO he received from the SABC's HR. 

Motsoeneng said he didn't apply for the COO position at the SABC. He said he wrote a letter to the board complaining about being acting COO for 2 years.

Advocate Norman asks Motsoeneng to detail how he became COO.

He said he can't deal with that because the board employed him.

Motsoeneng details his experience at the public broadcaster and how he got to the position of COO.

Motsoeneng again said he was head-hunted by the SABC.

"Where did the idea come from that if you combine your symbols you will get a matric certificate?" Zondo asks Motsoeneng.

Motsoeneng said he was told by his principal.

"In my view, outstanding meant I don't have matric." Motsoeneng said.

Motsoeneng is still talking about the discussion he had with SABC management with regards to his matric certificate.

Chair Zondo asks Motsoeneng to repeat his conversation with the woman who was working as HR at the SABC, Mrs Swanepoel.

And we are back from the lunch break

Lunch break, be back soon.

Motsoeneng tells Chair Zondo that matric wasn't a requirement at his job at the SABC in 1995.

"I have never lied. I have never said I have a matric certificate." Motsoeneng is not standing down on the matric issue.

The memes on Motsoeneng are rolling in on Twitter:

Chair Ray Zondo goes through Motsoeneng's matric symbols.

"I did not lie about matric, I was advised by HR." Hlaudi Motsoeneng said.

The matric issue is done and dusted and they now look at evidence.

Motsoeneng gives the SABC a young shout-out.

Motsoeneng said he wrote matric and he failed. He is said his employer knew and then gave him a 2-week course in broadcasting. 

The former SABC COO is still explaining how was hired at the broadcaster and that people knew he didn't have a matric certificate. 

He said the people who hired him knew he didn't have matric.

Motsoeneng said he disclosed in 1995 that he didn't have matric when he started at the SABC and he was hired because of his talent.

Motsoeneng said he was head-hunted to join the SABC and he's hurt when people say he lied about his matric.

He said he started as a freelance journalist for radio.

Motsoeneng said he started working at the SABC in the 1980s.

Motsoeneng is asked what position he occupied and he says "Yei! I occupied many positions."

Motsoeneng now going through evidence with lawyer...

Here we go...

WATCH LIVE: Hlaudi Motsoeneng at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry

Motsoeneng is on the stand and will give his version of events soon...

Motsoeneng is no stranger to the state capture inquiry... 
He joined former President Jacob Zumba's supporters at the inquiry a couple of times…

  • On Monday, former SABC board chairperson Ben Ngubane explained to the commission how Motsoeneng managed to rise to top management at the SABC without a matric certificate.
  • Last week, SAfm executive producer and member of the so-called SABC 8, Krivani Pillay, told the commission how Motsoeneng's seemingly irrational decisions like muting political analysts were designed to protect former President Jacob Zuma and the ANC from criticism.
  • Another SABC 8 member, Foeta Krige, told the commission last week how Motsoeneng ruled the broadcaster by decree and had people who stood in his way removed.

So what has he been accused of?

His much-anticipated testimony is expected to respond to some of the allegations made against him by other witnesses.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been blamed for much of the SABC’s collapse in recent years and his name has also come up at the Zondo Inquiry.

Good morning and welcome to EWN's live blog about former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng at the State Capture Inquiry.