Public protector wasting money on SABC court judgment: ANC

The public protector will be wasting funds by taking the SABC court judgment on review with regard to her constitutional powers, the ANC said on Monday.

“It is curious that an institution that recently complained to Parliament of dire financial constraints would dedicate huge funds pursuing a view that is legally and constitutionally weak to succeed in court,” chief whip Stone Sizani said in a statement.

“In our view, rather than waste funds on a case with little chances of success, she [Public Protector Thuli Madonsela] should be approaching Parliament — as a lawmaker — to motivate why her office should have powers beyond those currently provided in the Public Protector Act and the Constitution.”

Western Cape High Court Judge Ashton Schippers on Friday ordered that the SABC suspend its chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng and commence disciplinary proceedings against him within 14 days.

This was following the Democratic Alliance’s application for an urgent interim interdict suspending Motsoeneng pending a review of the decision to appoint him.

In his order Schippers said: “Unlike an order or decision of a court, a finding by the public protector is not binding on persons and organs of state.

“However, the fact that the findings of and remedial action taken by the public protector are not binding decisions, does not mean that these findings and remedial action are mere recommendations, which an organ of state may accept or reject.”

In February, 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, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi announced Motsoeneng’s permanent appointment.

Madonsela on Friday said she would take the judgment on review with regard to her office’s constitutional powers.

“She is of the respectful view that the judge’s basis for deciding that the public protector’s decisions are not binding is confusing,” spokesman Oupa Segalwe said in a statement at the time.

“Public Protector Madonsela is in the process of approaching her office’s lawyers in preparation of a review of the part of the judgment that deals with the public protector’s powers.”

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Public protector wasting money on SABC court judgment: ANC