DA says SABC in contempt of court over Motsoeneng

The Democratic Alliance will urgently ask the Western Cape High Court to issue a contempt of court order to the SABC for not suspending its COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng pending the outcome of disciplinary action.

The political party filed its papers on Friday, arguing the matter be heard urgently next Thursday or soon thereafter.

The relevant parties are Motsoeneng, the SABC, its board and board chairperson.

It wanted them to be found in contempt of court for not suspending Motsoeneng as per a Western Cape High Court order a year ago.

The primary relief it sought included an appropriate punishment for contempt, such as imprisonment and/or a fine.

The alternative relief was that the respondents report back to the court within 24 hours confirming they had complied with the suspension.

A week ago, the SCA upheld the Western Cape High Court order by Judge Ashton Schippers that Motsoeneng be suspended on full pay for 60 days while a disciplinary hearing into his alleged malfeasance was conducted.

Read the charges against Motsoeneng here

In its judgment, the SCA stated it could not fault the high court’s approach that Motsoeneng would, if not suspended as an interim measure, pose a real risk to the integrity of the investigation against him and the disciplinary inquiry itself.

DA Federal Executive chairperson James Selfe submitted a founding affidavit to support the urgent application.

Selfe said the SCA had held that the suspension was an interim measure and not appealable.

He said it was “clear” the parties were not enforcing the suspension order because they wanted to “undermine the integrity of the disciplinary process”.

“Six judges have told them that a disciplinary inquiry without suspension will be untenable and lack integrity. Yet they proceed regardless,” Selfe said in the affidavit.

“Now they have gone too far. They are acting both wilfully and in bad faith. They are in contempt and should be punished accordingly.”

The DA’s legal team recently sent letters to the parties’ attorneys asking for confirmation that Motsoeneng had been suspended. It warned it would approach the court if it didn’t get this confirmation.

In reply, attorneys for the SABC said in a letter that Schippers’s judgment did not order them to suspend Motsoeneng with immediate effect.

Motsoeneng on Tuesday filed an application in the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal the SCA judgment in respect of the suspension.


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DA says SABC in contempt of court over Motsoeneng