SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng will face disciplinary action on Monday morning after the hearings were earlier cancelled by chairperson of the inquiry Advocate William Mokhari, his lawyer confirmed to News24.
Motsoeneng’s lawyer Zola Majavu said he had received confirmation on Sunday that disciplinary hearings against his client would convene at 08:00 on Monday.
Mokhari terminated disciplinary hearings on Thursday, stating that Motsoeneng remained the COO, pending the “finalisation of the appeal process”, it was reported earlier.
This comes after the Western Cape High Court set aside Motsoeneng’s appointment as the permanent COO on the grounds it was irrational in light of damning public protector findings against him.
Chairperson of the DA federal executive James Selfe said reports now indicating that Hlaudi Motsoeneng could return to work after the termination of his court-ordered disciplinary inquiry were “preposterous”.
He said the disciplinary hearing was not optional or conditional, but imperative as ordered by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).
Majavu said Hlaudi and the SABC disagreed with Mokhari’s findings. He said Mokhari was wrong to render the disciplinary hearings academic.
“The disciplinary hearing is continuing tomorrow. We are of the view that chair of the inquiry is wrong and I am preparing for the hearing tomorrow. The chairman of disciplinary committee was wrong. The SABC told us they are going ahead with the hearing. There is no reason for DA to threaten us with court,” Majavu said.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said they were waiting for their lawyers to brief them of the hearing before taking any action.
“We are not handling these hearings at all; we are just a party to it. They are handled by an independent person. Hlaudi is not back at work, he is still on leave. We are waiting for our lawyers to come to us and brief us about the hearing, then we will take it from there,” he said.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had earlier instructed the SABC to discipline Motsoeneng after confirming allegations he lied about having passed matric in his job application, irregularly inflated his salary and purged senior staff.
“Protection of Hlaudi Motsoeneng, by bending the rules, is not in line with the constitutional precepts on which the broadcaster is founded. The Rule of Law must prevail,” Selfe said.