Johannesburg – The SABC has declined to comment on whether Hlaudi Motsoeneng returned to work on Tuesday, despite a Supreme Court of Appeal judgment barring him from continuing in his position as the chief operating officer.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said they would not comment until the matter had been resolved by the board.Communications Minister Faith Muthambi on Monday said she was leaving everything in the hands of the SABC board and said she hoped it would make an informed decision.
Kganyago would not be drawn on whether Motsoeneng reported for duty. “We are not saying anything on this matter until the board has got information from the lawyers.” In the past, the SABC responded promptly to court judgments against Motsoeneng that it would appeal against them. However, it remained unclear yesterday what Motsoeneng’s status was if he returned to work.
His lawyer, Zola Majavu, had said he was leaving everything to the SABC, but his client had indicated he wanted another job at the public broadcaster if he was removed as COO.
Motsoeneng was found guilty by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela of purging staff members and inflating his salary, which went up from R1.5 million to R2.4m in one year.
In the financial statements tabled in Parliament last year, Motsoeneng ruffled the feathers of the opposition after it was discovered his salary had increased to R3.7m.
But his position remained unclear and the SABC refused to say what will happen to him.
His new demand for another job at the SABC could be a subject of discussion by the board.
But the DA, which lodged the court challenge against Motsoeneng, said he needed to go now.
DA federal chairperson James Selfe said they believed that Motsoeneng had returned to the SABC despite a court judgment. He said they did not know in what capacity he went back to work.
The DA said it was consulting with its lawyers on this matter, and a decision would be made in the coming days.
The Right2Know Campaign also called for Motsoeneng to go and not waste taxpayers’ money by appealing court judgments.
“It is now time for Hlaudi to give up. He must not seek reappointment and he must not take this to the Constitutional Court and continue doing what he has always done, by dragging out legal processes using public money,” it said.