Appeal Court blow for Hlaudi
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Bloemfontein - The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has dismissed the embattled SABC chief operations officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s application for leave to appeal against a high court ruling that his appointment as SABC boss be set aside.
The application was dismissed with costs.
On July 15, Motsoeneng filed an application for leave to appeal against the scathing Judge Dennis Davis judgment in the Democratic Alliance’s review application that found his permanent appointment as COO was irrational.
Motsoeneng’s application, according to the judgment, was dismissed on the grounds that there was no reasonable prospect of success in an appeal and there was no other compelling reason why it should be heard.
In 2015, the Western Cape High Court found that Motsoeneng’s appointment was irrational and unlawful during an application by the DA.
Motsoeneng refused to vacate his position after the ruling was made by Judge Davis and instead opted to approach the SCA for appeal.
The Democratic Alliance said on Monday that the SCA’s decision meant the SABC had to remove Motsoeneng.
“Effectively Mr Motsoeneng will have no joy from our courts and must vacate the SABC without delay.”
Motsoeneng and his “band” of protectors who sought to save his job needed to abandon “this abuse of our judicial system” and the taxpayers’ money of which millions have already been plundered, James Selfe, DA MP, said.
In the matter the DA was the respondent while the SABC, its board of directors and the chairperson of the board of directors were the first, second and third applicants respectively.
Selfe said the three government applicants ignored the remedial action ordered by the Public Protector which the SCA slated as “irrational and unlawful”.
“To petition the SCA for a second time with respect to this matter was in itself an irrational and desperate attempt by the SABC and Minister Faith Muthambi to protect a COO who has all but driven the public broadcaster into the ground. Throughout his tenure Mr Motsoeneng has made statements and taken decisions that directly contradict the SABC’s obligations and the right to freedom of expression,” said Selfe.
Some of the controversial stances Motsoeneng has taken were that journalists should obtain licences in order to report news; banning of broadcasting of images of violent protests; arguing that the SABC should not report on crime because it encourages further crimes and insisting on the need to broadcast 70% “happy news”.
“Given this latest and damning evidence, the DA calls on Mr Motsoeneng and the SABC to stop their vexatious litigation and not approach the Constitutional Court and tender his resignation effective immediately. This is the only way that the process to restore the SABC’s credibility can begin,” said Selfe.
Daily News and ANA