Court orders SABC COO’s suspension

Update: The Western Cape High Court ordered on Friday that SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng face a disciplinary hearing and be suspended with full pay.

“The board of the SA Broadcasting Corporation Limited (SABC) shall, within 14 calendar days of the date of this order, commence, by way of serving on him a notice of charges, disciplinary proceedings against… Mr George Hlaudi Motsoeneng,” Judge Ashton Schippers said in his order.

“The disciplinary proceedings… shall be completed within a period of 60 calendar days after they have been commenced.”

He said if the disciplinary was not completed in the allocated time the SABC had to deliver an affidavit to the court explaining why and when it would be completed.

Motsoeneng was entitled to five days of delivery of the affidavit by the chairperson to deliver an answering affidavit.

“Pending the finalisation of the disciplinary proceedings… [Motsoeneng] shall be suspended on full pay,” Schippers said.

The SABC, its board, its chairwoman Ellen Tshabalala and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi were ordered to pay the costs of the application.

The SABC on Friday said it would study the judgment.

“The board will study the judgment and then decide on the way forward,” spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said.

The Democratic Alliance applied for an urgent interim interdict suspending Motsoeneng pending a review of the decision to appoint him.

In February, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report on Motsoeneng, while he was acting COO.

She found his salary increased from R1.5 million to R2.4m in one year, that he had purged senior staff, and misrepresented his matric qualifications to the SABC. Madonsela recommended that a new COO be appointed at the SABC within 90 days.

In July, Muthambi announced Motsoeneng’s permanent appointment. She said he was cleared of all wrongdoing by a legal firm before the decision was made.

The DA then launched a high court bid to have his appointment set aside.

This was the second part of the DA’s application which would be heard next year.

Original story: The Western Cape High Court ordered on Friday that SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng be suspended with immediate effect, the DA said.

“The Western Cape High Court ordered that he be suspended with immediate effect pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing,” Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis said.

“The disciplinary has to happen within 60 days… and has to be headed up by an independent person.”

The DA launched a high court bid to have Motsoeneng’s appointment as chief operating officer set aside.

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Court orders SABC COO’s suspension