The SABC will analyse Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report, which found its acting chief operations officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng had operated above the law.
“We have just received the report today,” said SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago.
“The board needs to study the report, then we can communicate later what will happen because we only received it today like everyone else.”
Madonsela on Monday spoke of Motsoeneng’s irregular appointment and a crooked salary progression.
She found that Motsoeneng irregularly and rapidly increased the salaries of various staff members, resulting in the state broadcaster footing an unprecedented salary bill escalation of R29 million.
Complaints against Motsoeneng were raised with Madonsela by former SABC staff — including former chief operations officer Charlotte Mampane and ex-SABC senior executive Phumelele Ntombela-Nzimande.
Motsoeneng was also investigated for fraudulently misrepresenting his qualifications to the SABC, including that he had passed matric when he applied for employment.
Madonsela said allegations that Motsoeneng committed fraud by stating in his application form that he had completed matric at Metsimantsho High School in QwaQwa were substantiated.
She said it was worrying that Motsoeneng’s file “disappeared” at the SABC amid his denial of falsifying qualifications.
Madonsela’s report recommends that the SABC board institute corrective action against the “dishonest” Motsoeneng.
Madonsela urged Communications Minister Yunus Carrim to take urgent steps to fill the “long outstanding vacant post of COO” with a suitably qualified permanent incumbent within 90 days.
She also urged Carrim to establish why group chief executive officers at the SABC cannot function and leave prematurely, causing financial and operational strains.
The Democratic Alliance said the report confirmed that the SABC had been plagued by incompetence, routine corruption and cadre deployment for years, and urged Motsoeneng’s immediate suspension.
“We call on Minister of Communications Mr Yunus Carrim, in his capacity as the shareholder’s representative, to instruct the SABC board to immediately suspend Mr Motsoeneng and recruit, as soon as possible, suitably qualified and experienced Group CEO and COO to head a crisis management team to stop the rot at the SABC,” spokeswoman Marian Shinn said in a statement.
Motsoeneng should be removed from the premises and forbidden access to any SABC staff during the process of determining his possible permanent removal from the corporation.
“He must also be forbidden to have contact with the SABC board, with whom he has an unhealthy close and protective relationship.
“Mr Motsoeneng has an extensive record as an unscrupulous character within the broadcaster’s administration. Mr Motsoeneng used his political clout to collapse the last SABC board when it voted to remove him from the acting COO post. And it is unlikely that any of the current board would be serving if they were not indebted or in league with Mr Motsoeneng.
“The public protector’s picture of Mr Motsoeneng’s character and behaviour clearly shows that his continued presence at the corporation will continue to have a destructive effect on operations and personnel,” Shinn said.
The Congress of People called on the SABC board to fire Motsoeneng by the end of business on Monday.
“The public protector’s finding that Mr Motsoeneng’s misrepresentation of his qualifications is improper and constitutes a dishonest act must be acted upon immediately,” said spokesman Johann Abrie in a statement.
“We urge the board to implement every single one of the recommendations without any delay and to restore integrity to the SABC.”