Motsoeneng appeal dismissed by SCA

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SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng signalled that he would immediately appeal against the order to be suspended from his post pending the outcome of the SCA appeal.

BLOEMFONTEIN - Hlaudi Motsoeneng has lost his bid against a ruling that he be suspended and face disciplinary action at the Supreme Court of Appeal on Thursday.

The SCA&39;s ruling means that the public protector’s findings cannot be ignored.

It’s also ruled that no parallel investigation can trump Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations or remedial actions.

This latest judgment overrules an earlier High Court judgment, which was made by the Western Cape High Court in October last year. 

Judge Ashton Schippers made the order as he dismissed SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s appeal against his suspension.

In April the court had granted Motsoeneng and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) leave to appeal its decision.

Motsoeneng had approached the court at that time after the public protector found he had been appointed irregularly.

In a probe into the SABC&39;s operations Madonsela, found that Motsoeneng was appointed as Chief Operations Officer (COO) irregularly, was not qualified for the post , covered the fact that he did not have matric, and some of his staff appointments warranted an internal investigation.

She also found that while acting in the position of COO, Motsoeneng granted himself three salary increases in a year.

Madonsela said this marked a violation of the SABC’s personnel regulations and constituted improper conduct and maladministration.

She recommended that the SABC take disciplinary steps against him, instead, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi appointed Motsoeneng on a permanent basis.

The SABC’s failure to follow the Public Protector’s directives has seen the DA go to court over the matter.  

The Western Cape High Court&39;s ruling concurred with the Madonsela’s findings that the COO be suspended for 6 months and for a disciplinary process to be instituted against him.

Motsoeneng’s lawyers appealed the court&39;s ruling on the grounds that an internal investigation had exonerated him.

“The power (to suspend Motsoeneng) lies with the Minister (of Communications), and the courts cannot take that power away,” his counsel maintained.

When the SABC tabled its annual report before Parliament last month it was discovered that Motsoeneng’s annual pay package shot up to R3.78-million a year, while the public broadcaster recorded a loss of R401 million for the last financial year.

Disciplinary action

The Appeals Court has ordered that Motsoeneng be suspended and face disciplinary action.

Today’s ruling has huge implications for the Nkandla saga.

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