JOHANNESBURG, The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has announced the dismissal of its chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
The SABC interim board has notified Motsoeneng of its decision to accept the recommendation that he be dismissed following a disciplinary hearing against Motsoeneng after he held a media briefing in April. He has since been found guilty of putting the public broadcaster into disrepute.
The decision has been welcomed by both the governing African National Congress and opposition parties in a rare show of unanimity.
SABC interim chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama told a media conference at the SABC’s Auckland Park office here Monday: “Mr Motsoeneng was being disciplined for very specific matters. There were misconduct, there were bringing the SABC into disrepute and also the relationship breakdown between the employer and the employee based on the statements that he made about the SABC board, the ad hoc committee of Parliament as well as the judge who presided over some matters. So based on those he was found guilty.”
During the disciplinary hearing, Motsoeneng submitted that he had obtained permission to hold the news conference. In his affidavit he said former communications minister Faith Muthambi and then SABC acting group chief executive officer James Aguma had authorised the briefing.
Motsoeneng also called the hearing irregular in its nature, claiming that the manner in which the charges were brought against him was not in line with SABC policy. He further stated that the ad hoc committee did not allow him to testify and to state his side of the story.
Aguma was suspended last month. The board also confirmed that the SABC contract with the Gupta family-owned New Age media organization to broadcast live an SABC programme had been cancelled. The Board also re-assured SABC journalists that they are free to report the news as they dim fit, even violent protests.
The ANC Whip in Parliament’s Communications Committee, Lerumo Kalako, said the party welcomed the decision of the SABC interim board.
“In fact that was always our call that he must be taken to a disciplinary hearing for flouting the code of conduct of the SABC. So, to us it’s a very important example even to those who were his cahoots inside the SABC, even to them, their time will come. So, we are very happy with the decision, said Kaloko.
The spokesperson of the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), Phumzile van Damme, said Motsoeneng’s dismissal was long overdue.
The DA really welcomes the dismissal of Hlaudi Motsoeneng for the SABC. It has been a long time coming and an issue that the DA has fought hard for a number of years, including various litigations. While this dismissal is to be welcomed, a second disciplinary inquiry needs to be held into Hlaudi, this disciplinary inquiry was ordered by the Public Protector (Ombudsman).”
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK