The Western Cape High Court ruled on Thursday that SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng be suspended for 60 days pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.
Judge Ashton Schippers granted Motsoeneng leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, but his interim suspension must take place with immediate effective, the court heard.
“The judgment goes to the heart of the Public Protector’s remedial actions in affairs of the State,” the Democratic Alliance’s James Selfe said outside court.
“If the disciplinary proceedings find him innocent, he can presumably go back to work after 60 days.”
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago could not be reached for comment by News24 immediately after the ruling.
The DA had brought an application for an interim order to have Motsoeneng suspended pending a disciplinary hearing, as ordered by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
Despite Madonsela’s finding, Motsoeneng had remained in his job at the public broadcaster.
The DA has said this judgment was an important test for the powers of the Public Protector.
“The implication of this judgment is that organs of state must implement the findings and remedial actions of the Public Protector unless rational grounds, that would stand up in a court, are presented for not doing so,” the opposition party said ahead of the ruling.