Some members of the SABC board want Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, to reappoint Hlaudi Motsoeneng as COO of the public broadcaster.
This is according to a draft resolution copy sent to board members earlier this week, obtained by The Times.
“Since the next board meeting is scheduled for 28 October 2016 the board is requested to recommend that the Honourable Minister approves the appointment of Mr GH Motsoeneng as the Acting COO for the period 19 September 2016 to 18 December 2016 on a Round Robin basis,” the resolution reads.
A round robin basis simply means, taking turns.
The only problem is, appointing Motsoeneng would put the SABC board in contempt of a court ruling by the Western Cape High Court that his appointment as COO was unlawful, based on facts presented in a report by outgoing Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela.
A second bid by Motsoeneng and Muthambi to appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court of Appeal was dismissed on Monday and according to Motsoeneng’s lawyer, Zola Majavau, the matter cannot be taken to the Constitutional Court.
The communications ministry had initially said was studying the judgement and is confident that the SABC board would make an informed decision on how it intends to handle this ruling.
Reappointing Motsoeneng would be irrational
Krish Naidoo, a non-executive board member who voted against Motsoeneng’s reappointment, said reappointing Motsoeneng would be “contrary to the rule of law, irrational and bordering on illegality”.
“If you take a decision like this when a court says this guy should not be COO, and you appoint him acting COO, it means you haven’t applied your mind,” Naidoo told The Times. “The SABC is an important institution. The president and the ANC should open their mouths now and say something decisive.”
The Depart of Communications is yet to comment on the matter.
DA sends lawyers to clarify Hlaudi’s position
Coincidentally, the DA today, through its lawyers, sent a letter to the SABC asking for confirmation on whether or not Motsoeneng is currently occupying another position at the public broadcaster. It also inquired if another person is acting as the COO and if the SABC has started looking for someone to occupy it permanently.
The SABC has until next Monday, 26th September, to answer the questions.
“Hlaudi Motsoeneng and the SABC must now comply with the judgement of the Western Cape High Court. Failure to do so will leave the DA with no other option but to pursue the matter further,” the party said.