Former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has failed to reply to the broadcaster’s disciplinary charges because he recently had an operation, it emerged on Friday.
His lawyer Zola Majavu stated in an affidavit submitted to the chair of his disciplinary hearing, Nazeer Cassim, that his client failed to lodge a responding affidavit due to medical incapacity.
He said Motsoeneng had undergone an operation and would likely need a follow-up one in the near future.
“The employee was placed under strict instructions to [rest] and not engage in any stressful or straining activity,” the affidavit reads.
Motsoeneng faces charges of breaching the terms of his suspension following a media briefing he held on April 19.
Majavu said Motsoeneng could only file responding affidavits next week Thursday, when he had sufficiently recovered.
Cassim gave Motsoeneng until Tuesday to do so.
Majavu said Motsoeneng was not fully alert or aware of the matters discussed.
“This results in a fair bit of repetition,” he said.
He wants the SABC to provide him with minutes of certain of its board meetings, according to the affidavit. These minutes reflect its decision not to seek a judicial review of former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report When Governance and Ethics Fail, released in 2014.
Motsoeneng claims he has been barred from getting into his office at the SABC where he kept copies of minutes of board meetings which he wants to submit as evidence.
The documents, according to Majavu, support Motsoeneng’s allegations that SABC board member Krish Naidoo lied to Parliament’s ad hoc committee which investigated the previous board’s fitness to hold office.
Western Cape High Court Judge Owen Rogers ruled in December 2016 that Motsoeneng could not work at the SABC at all, unless Madonsela’s report was set aside or a new disciplinary hearing cleared him of wrongdoing.
Rogers said the previous disciplinary hearings which cleared him were “wholly inadequate”.
Motsoeneng has suffered one court defeat after another.
In November 2015, the Western Cape High Court declared his appointment as COO irrational and illegal, and set it aside. The court denied him leave to appeal.
In September 2016, the Supreme Court of Appeal also denied him leave to appeal.
In May this year, the Labour Court denied his application to stop the current disciplinary hearings and for Cassim to recuse himself.