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DA calls for disciplinary proceedings against Hlaudi

Politics
Johannesburg – The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Tuesday that disciplinary proceedings against Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the beleaguered former chief operations officer (COO) of the South African Broadcaster Corporation (SABC), were long overdue.

This comes after news that Motsoeneng is expected hold a press conference on Wednesday to "address all the pending matters" with regards to the SABC.

Motsoeneng said he would address issues, among others, such as the SABC finances and the new interim board, his controversial policies at the public broadcaster, and also give his response to recommendations of the Parliament's ad hoc committee.

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Former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng File picture: Princess MahogoScreengrab: Twitter

DA spokesperson on communications, Phumzile van Damme, said in a statement that Motsoeneng had no business addressing any issues with regards to SABC as he was no longer an employee of the broadcaster.

"While Motsoeneng is entitled to address the media as a private individual, he has no mandate to speak on behalf of the SABC, and should in fact currently be in the middle of a disciplinary inquiry against him," van Damme said.

"Tomorrow's [Wednesday's] press conference should therefore not be on behalf of the SABC, conducted on its premises, or using its resources."

Though Motsoeneng's media briefing would not be at the SABC premises, it would be held at Garden Courts Milpark in Auckland Park, less than one kilometre from the broadcaster's headquarters.

Screengrab: Twitter

In December, the Western Cape High Court ruled in favour of the DA finding the appointment of Motsoeneng as the SABC's group executive of corporate affairs unlawful and irrational.

The court held that Motsoeneng may not hold any position at the SABC until he has faced a satisfactory disciplinary hearing and/or the findings and remedial action by the Public Protector have been reviewed and set aside by another court.

The Western Cape High Court further held that the SABC's interim board, once appointed, should within two weeks, deliver a letter setting out the disciplinary charges against Motsoeneng and appoint a new chairperson to oversee the proceedings.

With the two week deadline having seemingly expired last week, van Damme said the DA will write to chairperson of the interim SABC board, Khanyisile Kweyama, to request that disciplinary proceedings against Motsoeneng commence immediately.

"As COO of the SABC, Motsoeneng exerted a toxic influence on the public broadcaster which has brought the SABC to the brink of near collapse. He cannot be allowed to continue to draw a single cent from South Africa's public broadcaster," van Damme said.

"The new interim board now have an uphill battle on their hands but must not be deterred by Motsoeneng’s continued acts of defiance."

Van Damme said the interim SABC board must act decisively to hold Motsoeneng to account for his role in weakening the SABC.

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