Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng at the Zondo Commission. File photo: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA).
Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng at the Zondo Commission. File photo: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA).

Hlaudi tells Zondo Commission he 'had no powers' to fire SABC 8

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Sep 11, 2019

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Former SABC chief operations officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng has denied deciding to dismiss SABC employees who did not agree with his editorial decisions.


Motsoeneng said he had no reason to interfere in the jobs of SABC editorial staff because they did not report to him and as such he had no powers to dismiss them.


The former SABC boss was concluding his evidence for a second day at the Zondo commission on Wednesday.


SABC employees including: Krivani Pillay, Thandeka Gqubule-Mbeki and Foeta Krige were part of the so-called "SABC 8" who faced a disciplinary hearing and were later fired by the public broadcaster. Their dismissal was successfully challenged in court.


Motsoeneng explained that he was approached by former SABC head of news Simon Tebele who said there was "blood on the floor because people (SABC staff) were defying him". 

He told Tebele that if people did not follow his rules than he should take action and not come to him.


Motsoeneng said if there was anyone he could have taken action against it would have been Tebele and not the SABC editorial staff.


"I would never allow that to happen."

He said he was not involved in all dismissals and says some people used his name while wanting fire people.


Motsoeneng said it was unfair that he was slapped with a cost order regarding the dismissal of journalists when he was not the one who fired them.


He told commission chairperson chief justice Raymond Zondo that he believes that the some of the country's judges were captured by the media because of the negative judgments that he has received.


Motsoeneng said the media was negative against by spinning the story of Wits Business School denying that he had lectured there. He insisted that he had been a guest lecturer.

"Yesterday I spoke about me lecturing at Wits Business School. It is true chairperson, I have the documents which I will produce. I was invited and it does not mean that when I say I lectured there I was employed by Wits but the media has twisted what I said in this commission.  


"That tweet is wrong chairperson. I have been invited more than three times at Wits Business School to lecture and there is a video to demonstrate that. The media, the way they do things is wrong, because it seems like they are angels and we are very bad."

Political Bureau

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