Johannesburg - The Presidency on Friday said the government respects the decisions of the courts in relation to the Supreme Court of Appeal’s decision to set aside the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
In a statement, the Presidency said it had noted and respected the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal with regards to the position of the beleaguered SABC COO.
“At the meeting between government and the judiciary last year, it was reaffirmed that government would respect court rulings. Government fully abides by that undertaking,” the Presidency said.
“The courts are the highest arbiters in disputes in society and all in our country must respect the courts and ensure that the Constitution and the rule of law prevail at all times.”
The Supreme Court of Appeal on Monday confirmed a previous high court ruling that found that Motsoeneng’s appointment was irregular.
The ruling put the SABC under pressure to explain Motsoeneng’s employment status. The uncertainty was further compounded by reports that the board had written a letter asking the Minister of Communications to appoint Motsoeneng as Acting COO.
A copy of the unsigned letter was leaked to the media, but the communications department on Thursday denied having received it.
“We have not formally received such letter from the SABC Board for the minister’s consideration,” said the department.
Non-executive board member at SABC, Krish Naidoo, has publicly condemned the move by the broadcaster and said he had refused to approve the resolution, saying it would be “contrary to the rule of law, irrational and bordering on illegality”.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has given the board of the SABC until Monday to respond fully on the status of Motsoeneng.
Outgoing Public Protector Thuli Mandonsela on Friday said owing to the court’s decision if the board were to re-appoint Motsoeneng in any senior position it would be negating its fiduciary duties. She said such a move would necessitate the assessment of the board’s ability to carry out its duties.
This week Parliament heard that SABC was reporting a loss of R500 million.