The Western Cape High Court has dismissed a bid by the SABC and Hlaudi Motsoeneng to delay the institution of a legitimate disciplinary hearing against him, as directed by the Public Protector.
As per the Public Protector’s report released in 2014, which states that Motsoeneng’s appointment and salary increment was unlawful, the SABC was instructed to conduct a disciplinary hearing to investigate the charges against him.
The SABC had tried dodge the hearing by arguing that the Public Protector’s findings were not binding, but the matter was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Appeal.
According to acting SABC CEO, James Aguma, the public broadcaster conducted the hearing in October 2015, but was plagued by a number of issues, including unreliable witnesses, resulting in Motsoeneng being found not guilty of any charges by December.
Earlier this year, the DA applied to go to court over the hearing’s outcomes and enforce a “legitmitate” hearing, but the SABC threw a spanner in the works by arguing that the matter had to be put on hold because it had approached the Pretoria High Court to have the findings reviewed.
The SABC’s argument was that should the review be successful, it will have an impact on the DA’s application.
“Delay tactic” dismissed
The SABC’s application to stay the matter, which the DA calls a delay tactic, has now been dismissed by the Western Cape High court.
Below is Judge Monde Ishmael Samela’s reasons for dismissal:
“Given this morning’s judgment, an independent and impartial disciplinary inquiry into Mr Motsoeneng’s fitness to hold office must be re-established,” said the DA’s James Selfe.
The DA said it wants the inquiry (or hearing) to involve the following:
- Be presided over by a new and independent chairperson
- Be commenced within 14 days of this order and for it to be completed within 60 days
- Be open to the public
- Seek the suspension of Motsoeneng pending the outcome of such an inquiry for any other interim measure would be a failure in due process.
“Mr Motsoeneng cannot continue to serve at the SABC in any capacity, even in a position where he deems himself to be an ‘ordinary employee’,” Selfe said.[Source – DA]