In just under two months after officially being approved by President Jacob Zuma, the SABC’s interim board has not wasted any time getting to work to cleaning up the mess largely left behind by former COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
The board appeared in Parliament today before the Portfolio Committee on Communications on its corporate and annual performance plan (APP) for 2017/18-2019/20.
Part of the board’s biggest task was to undo many of the often irrational and costly decisions made by the previous board, including Motsoeneng and acting CEO, James Aguma, who was present at the meeting today.
During its presentation, SABC chair Khanyisile Kweyama told the committee that the second disciplinary hearing for Motsoeneng will take place on 17th May.
The Western Cape High Court had ruled that the hearing, as instructed by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, must be held again as the witnesses and chair of the first one were not objective enough, leading to Motsoeneng getting off the hook easily.
It’s believed Motsoeneng had banked on this hearing being delayed and leaning in his favour, to the extent that he has publicly and arrogantly stated that he isn’t moved by its possible outcomes.
The editorial policy, which originally got the SABC into hot water with the public and Icasa, as it was changed without consultation and involved the banning of violent protest footage in TV news bulletins, has been scrapped and the previous policy will now be brought back into play.
The board also decided it will not be reviewing the Public Protector’s report at the South Gauteng High Court, as planned by the previous board, effectively meaning her recommendations stand, including the conclusion that Motsoeneng had lied about his matric qualifications and his appointment as COO was unlawful.
The committee welcomed this decision.
90% cost the SABC money and listeners
He said the public broadcaster lost millions of rands and flagship stations, such as Metro FM, have lost quite a number of listeners over the past months.
Motsoeneng has received wide praise from some local artists who’ve called the 90% quota revolutionary, even going as far as awarding him for it.
The committee welcomed the progress being made by the interim board.