Motsoeneng claims his dismissal was part of a 'political agenda' against him

Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng on Thursday maintained that the ad hoc committee set up to investigate the SABC board’s fitness to hold office was actually set up as part of a political agenda to deal with him.

Motsoeneng made this claim as he was cross-examined by the SABC during his hearing at the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA)‚ where he is challenging his dismissal.

He was dismissed in June 2017 after being found guilty of bringing the broadcaster into disrepute following a media conference he called on April 19.

In that conference‚ Motsoeneng said he was addressing findings made by the ad hoc committee‚ which was tasked by the National Assembly in November 2015 to enquire into the fitness of the SABC board.

During cross-examination‚ Motsoeneng said he stood by what he said at the media briefing - that the ad hoc committee process was flawed.

“This was a political agenda to deal with me‚” Motsoeneng said.

However‚ SABC counsel Paul Myburgh said the ad hoc committee dealt with a myriad of issues and did not just deal with Motsoeneng.

“I am the only person who appears (in the commission’s report) more than anyone. I maintain it was a Hlaudi’s ad hoc committee‚” Motsoeneng said.

Motsoeneng said members of the ad hoc committee were not united‚ as some called for him to answer to the allegations levelled against him.

In its report‚ the ad hoc committee said Motsoeneng’s legal representatives submitted a response on his behalf.

“The response did not address the evidence or findings‚ but highlighted Mr Motsoeneng’s concerns with regard to the Committee’s process‚ and the decision not invite him to give evidence‚” the report said.

Motsoeneng said there was no way the ad hoc committee could get involved in the discipline of SABC employees because the Broadcasting Act did not allow it.

He said the reason he addressed a media briefing in April was to respond to insults levelled at him by the ad hoc committee.

“In my press conference‚ I made it clear I was not dealing with the SABC here. I made it clear I was not dealing with the SABC interim board‚” Motsoeneng said.

Motsoeneng said during his media briefing that he did not respond to allegations contained in the ad hoc committee report as an SABC employee‚ but as a citizen.

Motsoeneng also took issue with the chair of his disciplinary committee‚ Adv Nazeer Cassim SC‚ who found him guilty of charges levelled by the interim board.

Motsoeneng said Cassim was not independent.

The hearing continues