Zuma not involved in SABC COO appointment

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IOL pic jun9 jacob zuma in beige armchair Independent Newspapers President Jacob Zuma. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma had nothing to do with the appointment of SABC chief operations officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the presidency said on Saturday.

“The president has no role to play in the appointment of SABC management or staff and did not play any role in the said appointment,” the presidency said in a statement.

“Reports to the contrary are inaccurate and unfortunate.”

A report published in the Mail & Guardian on Friday suggested that Zuma had favoured Motsoeneng for the position.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi on Tuesday permanently appointed Motsoeneng as the public broadcaster's COO. He previously served the SABC in the capacity of acting COO.

In February, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report in which she found Motsoeneng's SABC appointment irregular. Among other things, his salary increased from R1.5 million to R2.4m in one year.

She also found he had misrepresented his qualifications - that he passed matric - to the SABC, and recommended that he be replaced.

Last week, political parties called for him to be relieved of his duties after he suggested that journalists should have a licence to practice like in the medical and law professions.

Also last week, Motsoeneng appeared before Parliament to present a strategic plan and budget for the SABC, which received a disclaimer of opinion from the auditor general - the most adverse finding it can make.

Parliament also heard that the SABC was losing advertisers and viewers while under Motsoeneng's leadership.

Madonsela's office on Friday confirmed that it would launch a new investigation into Motsoeneng. - Sapa



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