DA: Fire Muthambi over Motsoeneng salary hike

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Communications Minister Faith Muthambi interacts with National Youth Development Agency beneficiaries in Nelspruit as part of the Ministerial Imbizo Outreach Programme on 5 September 2014.

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance is outraged at the revelation that SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng received another salary increase of R912,000.

This increase was revealed in the state broadcaster’s annual report tabled in Parliament on Wednesday.

In a statement released on Friday by DA shadow minister of communications Gavin Davis, the opposition party said they welcome ANC Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa’s statement slamming the increase.

“The African National Congress calls for prudence on the use of public funds,” Kodwa said in a statement on Thursday, a day after the SABC’s annual report was tabled in Parliament.

Motsoeneng has dismissed questions about the increase as racist, telling a media briefing: “It is not a sin for a black person to earn more money.”

“Our government has committed itself to tightening the belt including prudence within the public service broadly. Our failure to follow through with these commitments can only set a dangerous precedence that can’t be sustained and justified,” said Kodwa.

The SABC boss now earns a cool R3.8 million per year, despite the fact that the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela recommended disciplinary action against Motsoeneng for irregulary salary progression in February 2014.

Instead, in July 2014, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi appointed Motsoeneng, who was acting COO at the time, to the post on a permanent basis.

The SABC recorded a loss of R401-million in the past financial year, according to the annual report.

The DA is now calling on the minister of communications to take the blame for allowing the increase.

“In the midst of all the cross-party condemnation, the silence of Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has been deafening. This will not be the first time the Minister appears to be at odds with her own party over Hlaudi Motsoeneng,” said Davis.

On Thursday the DA formally requested Madonsela to probe the pay hike for the controversial COO.

In a letter to Madonsela, Davis said Motsoeneng’s salary progression seemed inappropriate, and more so because she had already faulted him in a 2014 report for ensuring that his salary was increased three times in the space of a year.

Davis said that if the ANC means what it said, the ruling party should take action.

“If the ANC is serious about dealing with Motsoeneng, it will put pressure on President Zuma to remove Minister Muthambi from the Cabinet,” he said.

“Muthambi’s removal would send out the clearest signal that the ANC has finally lost patience with the never-ending shenanigans at the SABC,” said Davis.

Additional reporting Africa News Agency.

 

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