Court orders suspension of SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng

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SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

JOHANNESBURG - On Friday, the Western Cape high court has ordered the suspension of SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, with full pay, pending the finalisation of a disciplinary hearing.

It was ordered that a disciplinary hearing begin within 15 days and that it be concluded within 60 days.

The DA took Motsoeneng to court in August, seeking an urgent interim interdict to suspend him, pending a review of the decision to appoint him.

This followed a report from Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, in February that recommended that Motsoeneng be removed and a new COO be appointed at the SABC.

The Public Protector found his salary had increased from R1.5-million to R2.4-million in one year, that he had wrongfully removed senior staff and misrepresented his matric qualifications to the SABC. 

However, In July, Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi, announced Motsoeneng&39;s permanent appointment, claiming a legal firm had cleared him of any and all wrongdoing.

After the DA launched the high court bid to have his appointment set aside, Muthambi and the SABC filed opposing court papers.

The SABC said it had known all along that Motsoeneng did not have Matric and that he had never lied to or misled the organisation.

DA Federal Executive Committee chair, James Selfe, on Friday said that the DA feels vindicated that this judgment has been made. 

"We believe Motsoeneng was not fit to lead the SABC and the SABC erred in appointing him.

"The SABC erred fundamentally in not carrying out the orders of the Public Protector.

"We also believe that this also has significant implications on the Nkandla matter in terms of setting a precedent on how the Public Protector&39;s recommendations are handled."

SABC spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, said, "I&39;m not aware of that. I&39;m not aware whether the court ruling has been done.

"Those who are reporting that must be inside the court. I would prefer to wait for confirmation and a full report before I comment."

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