Communications Minister Yunus Carrim says he has received a response from the state law advisor regarding the Public Protector's report on the SABC acting COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. He says the public broadcaster's board must first take a decision.
The report found among others, that Motsoeneng lied about having matric, that his appointment and salary progression were irregular, and that he purged senior managers. Motsoeneng has since denied any wrongdoing, and says the findings have not been tested.
Carrim says they have contacted the Chairperson of the SABC Board and emphasised that in terms of the legislation and the norms and principles of cooperate governance, it’s the board that must apply its mind in the first instance to the Public Protector's report and take decisions on that regards.
"They will then refer the decision to us and we will engage with them forth depending on how they respond we have already engaged around the process and we now wait for the board to come to its conclusions," says Carrim.
Meanwhile, the SABC has refuted the article in Friday's Mail and Guardian, who's front page headline was titled 'Hlaudi is here to stay'. The article by Glynnis Underhill twisted statements made by the Chairperson around this issue, with the aim of painting a picture that the Chairperson is undermining the report released by the Public Protector.
SABC Board Chairperson, Ms. Zandile Tshabalala adds, "It also gives an impression that the Board has already discussed the matter in detail and has reached a decision on the way forward. It must be put on record that the SABC Board released a media statement on Thursday, in which it made its position on the matter clear says the statement."
Tshabalala says the Board has received the Public Protector's report and has committed to review it further, seek legal advice and also consult all relevant parties before taking any action. "It must be noted that the current Board is new and needs to acquaint itself with all the facts in order to allow itself to apply its mind accordingly."
SABC Board Chairperson Tshabalala, has assured the public and all its stakeholders that the public broadcaster is not in a crisis and that they will continue to fulfil all the obligations that they have committed to. The Board has asked the public to allow them space to go through the review processes as speedily as possible. "The SABC shall communicate its decision on the report in due course," she says.
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In its response to the report, the Communications Workers Union (CWU) in KwaZulu-Natal has lashed out at the Public Protector's Office saying it's being used by some sectors to score political points.
CWU Spokesperson Thami Mzileni was commenting on the report about Motsoneng. Mzileni says they doubt the independence of the Public Protector's office.
Mzileni claims that Thuli Madonsela's office is slowly losing its credibility and trust from the general public. He says before Motsoeneng took over, the broadcaster was going down the drain.
Mzileni says if you look at the SABC before Motsoeneng took over where the so-called learned were in charge the SABC was operating out of deficit and also loans, and people when they left they left with golden handshakes.
He says now the SABC is operating on a positive balance, even the governance of the SABC has improved. "The Public protector's report has been publicised to suit a certain agenda in their own advancement for the election come May 7," says Mzileni.