A member of the SABC board appearing before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications launched an explosive attack on the board, saying Hlaudi Motsoeneng shouldn’t still be an employee.
Krish Naidoo, who also happens to be the only board member who was against possibly appointing Hlaudi Motsoeneng as acting COO, said he was not party to presentation being made before the committee by the board today on matters concerning the SABC.
“I thought what I should let you know is that, if I was party to it, I would’ve made the following contributions to some of the issues that are pertinent that you raised and some our honourable members raised earlier,” Naidoo said.’
“The first thing is the Western Cape [High Court] judgement. You had a judge saying this appointment was irrational, full stop. That means at this point, had you not taken a further legal recourse, it would’ve meant that the incumbent was no longer an employee of the organisation and that is the effect of that judgement,” he added.
Naidoo said that appealing the judgement meant that for a period of time, while trying to appeal, you are still an employee of an organisation until the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) makes a decision.
“That decision was made a few weeks ago, where the SCA said that there are no prospects of appeal. Now at that point…you are no longer an employee of this organisation, there’s no other explanation for this whole thing,” he said.
Naidoo further argued that the board saying the SCA judgement has nothing to do with Motsoeneng being an employee is “absolute nonsense”.
“Whoever gave the SABC that advice should be shot,” he said.
Naidoo’s last point was on the delegation of authority and what framework SABC CEO, James Aguma, was given to make the decision to appoint Motsoeneng as GE of Corporate Affairs.
“When you give power to an executive…there is a duty on that to exercise that authority in a judicious way…and not in an arbitrary way,” he said.
Earlier in the meeting, Aguma explained how and why they had appointed Motsoeneng to the new post.
Dissolve the SABC board, says Naidoo
“When you exercise power in an arbitrary way, in the case of Mr Motsoeneng as Chief Executive Corporate Affairs…there was no proper procedure followed…when I listen to an executive [Aguma] of this level, talking in such mundane terms, it actually makes out the case why this board should be dissolved,” Naidoo added.
Naidoo argued that members of the board do not understand what corporate governance is.
“It gets frustrating as a non-executive board member when you give advice from time to time…and it’s either refused and one is not sure why,” he said.
Naidoo went on to say it’s disingenuous for the board to skirt issues and do a great disservice to the country.
Only court can set aside Public Protector findings
Naidoo, who is a lawyer by profession, said that the findings in the Public Protector’s report are binding and that only a court of law can set them aside.
“We had a wrong process in order to undermine what was said by the Public Protector,” he said. “I’ve heard all these presentations and I’m not satisfied as a board member. When I look at this presentation, it was amateurish in my view.”
Naidoo concluded that the SABC board is dysfunctional, should be scrapped and then he shockingly announced his resignation as of today.
Vusi Mavuso joins Naidoo in exiting
SABC board member Vusi Mavuso joined Naidoo in resigning. In a brief statement, Mavuso said party to the decision to appoint the SABC’s new COO, Bessie Tugwana.
“I only heard about it today,” said Mavuso. “We’re not following due process and it’s very clear that a particular picture is beginning to emerge and it’s actually worrying me.”
Mavuso said he couldn’t be party to what was happening at the SABC, that his contributions were seemingly not adding much value and for these reasons he was tendering his resignation as of today.