Hlaudi calls in big guns for CCMA showdown

Hlaudi Motsoeneng is pinning hopes on James Aguma, right. /Alon Skuy
Hlaudi Motsoeneng is pinning hopes on James Aguma, right. /Alon Skuy

Former SABC corporate affairs boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng wants his job back and he's using old colleagues to speak up for him at his CCMA hearing tomorrow.

His lawyer, Zola Majavu, said the team is gearing up for a rumble in the CCMA ring.

"We are both ready to go into a fight and we are going to argue for reinstatement," Majavu told Sunday World.

Former communications minister Faith Muthambi, now Public Service and Administration Minister, and former SABC acting group CEO James Aguma, are understood to be preparing to be witnesses in Motsoeneng's favour in the CCMA - the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration. Motsoeneng is fighting to secure his erstwhile position as SABC group executive for corporate affairs.

The position was created specifically to accommodate Motsoeneng after his appointment as COO was set aside by a court of law.

Sunday World has learnt that Aguma would argue that Motsoeneng had not brought the SABC into disrepute because he had given Motsoeneng permission to hold a press conference.

Minister of Public Service Faith Muthambi. / Trevor Samson
Minister of Public Service Faith Muthambi. / Trevor Samson

Aguma could not confirm or deny that he would be a witness. "I don't know anything about that. Let the man confirm it himself," he said.

Motsoeneng said the decision was not final.

He referred further questions to his lawyer Majavu, who said: "We are still discussing with the employer as to how many witnesses we are going to call. If it happens that we decide on getting witnesses, it's a decision we will take on Sunday [today]. If my client decides to call in witnesses, I won't argue against it."

Motsoeneng was dismissed following utterances he made during a press conference wherein he lashed out at the broadcaster's interim board led by Khanyisile Kweyama.

At the time, Motsoeneng had questioned the board's decision to revise his 90/10 local content policy, which the board said had cost the SABC millions in revenue.

The controversial SABC executive was hauled before the disciplinary hearing following his challenge against the board's decisions.

He was later fired.

The CCMA hearing starts tomorrow, four days after the appointment of former MTN group executive for corporate affairs, Chris Maroleng, as the SABC's COO.

It is set down for three days.

Muthambi's spokesman, Joe Makhafola, said the minister "is no longer responsible for the Department of Communication entities".

DoC spokeswoman Ireen Magwai could not be reached by the time of going to print.

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