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SABC chairwoman’s words ‘twisted’

Johannesburg - A media report that SABC acting chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng would remain in his job despite a damning Public Protector report was condemned by the public broadcaster on Friday.

“The article... twisted statements made by the chairperson around this issue, with the aim of painting a picture that the chairperson is undermining the report released by the Public Protector,” spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said in a statement.

Acting SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Photo: Motshwari Mofokeng. Credit: INLSA

The Mail & Guardian quoted SABC board chairwoman Zandile Tshabalala, the only person with the authority to dismiss him, as saying she would “absolutely want him to stay”.

“Of course we want him to stay.”

Kganyago said the report created the impression that the SABC's board had already discussed the Public Protector's report in detail and reached a decision on the action it would take.

On Monday, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released the report, titled “When Ethics Fail”, and found Motsoeneng's appointment was irregular, as was his salary progression. She found his salary increased from R1.5 million to R2.4m in one year.

Motsoeneng rapidly increased the salaries of various staff members, resulting in the broadcaster footing an unprecedented salary bill escalation of R29 million, Madonsela found.

According to her report, Motsoeneng committed fraud by stating in his application form that he completed matric at Metsimantsho High School in QwaQwa.

On Thursday Tshabalala responded to the report in a statement.

“We would like to assure the public and all our stakeholders that the SABC is not in a crisis and that we will continue to fulfil all the obligations that we have committed to,” she said.

The board would consider the report further and seek legal advice before deciding on a course of action.

Kganyago said that Thursday's statement was the only official comment on the matter from the board until further notice.

Sapa

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