The Democratic Alliance has called for Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s immediate dismissal, citing a breach in the SABC Code of Conduct, after he arranged his own press briefing on the state of the public broadcaster.
Motsoeneng was stripped of his title of chief operations officer at the SABC after a court set aside his appointment.
In December 2016, the Western Cape High Court also ruled in favour of the DA, finding the appointment of Motsoeneng as the SABC’s group executive of corporate affairs unlawful and irrational.
The court stated that Motsoeneng may not hold any position at the SABC until he has faced a satisfactory disciplinary hearing and/or findings and remedial action by the Public Protector have been reviewed and set aside by another court.
“While Motsoeneng is entitled to address the media as a private individual, he has no mandate to speak on behalf of the SABC and should in fact currently be in the middle of a disciplinary inquiry against him,” said the DA.
DA shadow minister of communications Phumzile Van Damme said: “Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s press conference today to address issues facing the SABC is grounds for him to be immediately fired from the public broadcaster as he has breached the SABC Code of Conduct.”
Van Damme called on the interim board at the SABC to terminate his employment, “and rid the SABC of the man responsible for the deep institutional rot at the public broadcaster”.
She said that although the Western Cape High Court ordered that Motsoeneng cannot hold a position at the SABC, pending the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings and/or the Public Protector’s report being set aside, it did not dismiss him from the public broadcaster.
“He, therefore, remains an employee without portfolio and draws a salary of R350,000 a month for sitting at home.”
As such, Motsoeneng was still bound by its Code of Conduct and various rules and regulations while awaiting his disciplinary hearing, said the DA.
It said the SABC’s disciplinary code lists misconduct as grounds for summary dismissal if an employee of the public broadcaster deliberately causes negative reporting of SABC affairs in the media.
“This is my press conference. I do not need permission to talk. I called this as a citizen. I have a responsibility as former COO,” Motsoeneng told the media, as reported by News24.
He said that as he is still an employee of the SABC, he could not divulge his salary.