HEARING is off

Simon Nare

Simon Nare

The SABC has been stopped from trying to institute a disciplinary hearing against suspended Lesedi FM presenter Mmamontha Motaung.

She is the wife of flamboyant suspended presenter Thuso Motaung. The Motaungs and a business partner, Joshua Ramme, were arrested in 2006 for defrauding the SABC of airtime amounting to R32million.

The trio are out on bail and their trial is set for March at the commercial crimes court in Johannesburg.

The SABC management also suspended station manager Pula Pula Mothibi and programme manager Wire Khoali.

According to a charge sheet, the SABC accuse Mothibi of failing to protect the station's interests and properly executing his duties in the trade agreement between Lesedi FM and JR Business Analyst and Developers pertaining to the marketing and advertising of Power Mix.

"You failed to enforce the policies and procedures of the SABC to ensure declaration of business interest of your subordinates and also failed to prevent potential gross negligence," it said.

Motaung yesterday confirmed that the SABC tried to institute a disciplinary hearing against his wife.

"What is surprising is that they were charging her with the same charges she is facing criminally.

"Our lawyers stopped it," he said.

Motaung assumed that his wife would face an internal hearing once the criminal case was concluded.

The couple allegedly used their daily time-slots on radio to promote Power Mix on air, using unauthorised airtime and costing the broadcaster millions.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago denied that the broadcaster attempted to institute an internal hearing against Mmamontha.

"That has not happened because we have not started any proceedings. I don't know at the moment when that will take place," he said.