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Hlaudi is doing a sterling job, says SABC board chairman

Politics
Parliament – Controversial South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng, whom a court of law has found was not entitled to hold any position at the public broadcaster, was doing a sterling job, MPs heard on Tuesday.

Speaking on the back of days of harrowing testimony from former board members, executive managers and journalists, who said that Motsoeneng was a man with a powerful force behind him who made their lives hell, board chairman Mbulaheni Maguvhe sang the former producer turned SABC executive's praises.

"I was convinced he was doing a sterling job," as Maguvhe told MPs as he defended his decision to vote for Motsoeneng's permanent appointment as chief operating officer (COO) in July 2014.

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SABC board chairman Mbulaheni Maguvhe testifying before a parliamentary inquiry into the affairs of the broadcaster's board. Picture: Screen grab from YouTube

Asked about the massive cost to the public broadcaster, and by extension to taxpayers, of keeping Motsoeneng, who had his 2014 appointment set aside by a court and declared unlawful, in his job, Maguvhe said he did not believe it affected taxpayers money.

Pushed further on why attempts should not be made to recoup the millions spent on legal fees to protect Motsoeneng's position from him personally, Maguvhe had this to say: "Even those who voted against [Motsoeneng's appointment] were board members and we take a decision and if the majority says the person should be appointed, then that binds those also who voted against ..."

African National Congress MP Makhosi Khoza was not impressed, insisting how Maguvhe as an accomplished man could be comfortable with Motsoeneng, who was without a matric, being appointed to COO.

"We were convinced he has leadership qualities, and that is what we believed [in 2014]." 

Fastforward to now, Maguvhe still believed Motsoeneng was the right man for the job. "Unless if I can be proven otherwise because from where I am, I think he does get things right and I believe anyone even if you are good at something, you might as well have challenges."

This did not go down well with Khoza who as an aside said: "At least I have established you and I don't belong to the same world."

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