Suspended SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng will meet with his lawyer Zola Majavu in what he says is a bid to “clear his name”. Picture: Matthews Baloyi
Johannesburg - Suspended SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng will on Monday meet with his lawyer Zola Majavu in what he says is a bid to “clear his name”.

“I want that disciplinary hearing as a matter of urgency. My lawyers have been saying we need to have that disciplinary hearing. It is critical for all of us,” Motsoeneng said on Sunday night in an interview with broadcaster ANN7.

The embattled former SABC boss who was kicked out of office in 2014, said he respected the court ruling, which said he had to be cleared first before being appointed as permanent chief operating officer.

“I don’t have an issue with the ruling of the court. What I want is to clear my name in a disciplinary hearing. For me, that is the focus I’m going to enjoy myself in that disciplinary hearing, because I enjoy everything I do. Whether it’s dismissal, I will enjoy it. My future is in my hands. I don’t depend on other people,” he said.

On Sunday, The Star’s sister paper, The Sunday Independent, reported that Motsoeneng has been hit with fresh charges by the state broadcaster’s interim board and could be “summarily dismissed”.

Motsoeneng blasted the board last week at a media briefing, saying it was conflicted.

And as he meets with Majavu, Motsoeneng will also probably discuss the board’s intention to forge ahead with filling his position, which has been vacant, as well as plans by the board to implement a report by Parliament’s ad hoc committee and that of former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

It also reported that the SABC is seeking a R1billion bailout from the National Treasury in a bid to stabilise the broadcaster as it has been left in financial turmoil.

The SABC allegedly took a hard knock over some of the changes implemented by Motsoeneng such as the 80 to 90% local content rule he decreed for TV and radio stations, respectively.

Advertisers have walked away over the quota system as they don’t find it viable.

The board has also had to rein in on the MultiChoice deal signed by Motsoeneng in 2013, which is deemed to be illegal and as a result has had negative ramifications for the broadcaster.

But a defiant Motsoeneng said the SABC was already “bleeding” (financially) when he was appointed by former chairperson Ben Ngubane. 

He emphasised that the SABC is not an entity that relies on profit.

“We are not a profit company. We are a company that has a different mandate to serve South Africans. You can’t say we need profit in the bank. What you need in the bank is R600million to sustain operations and pay all these service providers.”

Regardless of the outcome of his hearing, he said he had many options and was in “demand”.

The Support Public Broadcasting Coalition said it was fully behind the interim board’s decisions.

The Star