It's an open secret that "Cloudy" is someone’s hatchet man at the SABC, says the writer. File picture: Antoine de Ras/Independent Media
This piece is The Sunday Independent's editorial this week.

The skulduggery that is par for the course at the public broadcaster came to light during this past week’s parliamentary ad hoc committee hearings into the fitness of the SABC board to hold office.

The rot stinks to high heaven and it is a blight on our maturing democracy that the sound of jail doors are not beckoning - yet - for any of the main culprits.

Former acting chief executive Phil Molefe said in his evidence that he was casually ordered to approve the undeserved salary increase of Hlaudi Motsoeneng by then board chairman Dr Ben Ngubane. The increase was not to be a negligible figure, but a staggering R500000.

Ngubane insisted on this corrupt transaction as indifferently as if he was reading the day’s weather forecast.

When they did not prevail, Molefe says Motsoeneng then lamented to Ngubane: “Chair, I told you that this is not our man, so I am going to Pretoria tonight.”

The fact that Motsoeneng eventually managed to balloon his own salary from R2.8 million to R3.7m in a single financial year should be enough to get heads rolling and the law enforcement agencies camping at the doors of those fingered.

This was happening around the time that former public protector Thuli Madonsela had already made the SABC under Motsoeneng and Ngubane a subject of her probe.

However, Motsoeneng continued unabated to wield this power, using it to make the lives of his enemies a living hell.

It was gut-wrenching to hear former chief executive Lulama Mokhobo tell how she was openly undermined, talked down in front of her junior staff and her office generally reduced to nothing by Motsoeneng.

Of course, Motsoeneng was not alone - he was aided and abetted. Who did he go to see when he warned “I am going to Pretoria tonight”?

It's an open secret that "Cloudy" is someone’s hatchet man at the SABC.

Motsoeneng has been able to get away with his shenanigans because he is shielded by no less than Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and, by extension, the president.

In July 2014, Muthambi was already making plans for Motsoeneng’s rise to the permanent position of chief operating officer against the adverse findings of the former public protector.

Former board member Krish Naidoo, who resigned in October, told the ad hoc committee he wondered how “a high school drop-out” could have so many “educated professionals beholden to him”.

There was a "Big Man" syndrome at play here, a puppet master working the system behind the scenes to allow Motsoeneng’s excesses.

Molefe told the ad hoc committee that Zuma’s name was mentioned at various points in the machinations of turning Auckland Park into Motsoeneng’s personal fiefdom.

Whether it was just Motsoeneng or Muthambi dropping names still needs to be determined.

Auckland Park lives in such a cloud-cuckoo-land that it thinks it's immune from the country’s laws.

How else can one explain lone ranger Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe’s insolence before the committee?

The SABC refused to hand over documents it was summonsed to proffer to the committee.

Only a coterie of the protected can behave with such arrogance and hope to get away with it.

Just yesterday the country marked 20 years since the inception of the constitution. It is a proud document that says all shall be equal before the law.

In keeping with this, those found wanting by the ad hoc committee must have the book thrown at them.

As one former board told Parliament this week: “It requires a certain level of madness to serve on the SABC board.”