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MPs want answers: Motsoeneng appointment; SABC chair's qualifications

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and the board of the SABC are to be quizzed by parliament on the appointment of its chief operating officer, and to clarify allegations that the board's chair has lied about her own qualifications.
Previously Motseoneng was accused of having lied about having a Matric, but now SABC board chair Zandile Tshabalala‚ who is said to have motivated for Motsoeneng's appointment‚ is also reported to have lied about her curriculum vitae to Parliament.
The Public Protector meanwhile announced a new investigation into the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng permanently in the position of COO, with reference to his qualifications for the position.

"The separation of powers means that we continue with our own hearings and the public protector continues with her own investigation‚" the chair of the portfolio committee on communications‚ Joyce Moloi-Moropa said.

Muthambi last week confirmed the SABC board's appointment of Motsoeneng‚ despite a court order dating to 2008 preventing it. Mvuzo Mbebe‚ who was the operations chief-designate at the time brought the order.

The appointment was contrary to findings by Madonsela that Motsoeneng had lied about his qualifications and irregularly increased his salary as acting operations chief from R1.5m to R2.4m in a year.

In her report‚ to which the SABC has to respond by 17 August‚ Madonsela found Motsoeneng to have purged senior staff at the broadcaster.

She recommended that he be removed from the acting position‚ and that the post be re-advertised with the aim of finding a permanent replacement.

The MultiChoice deal

Motsoeneng signed a deal on behalf of the SABC with satellite pay-TV company MultiChoice to launch the corporation's 24-hour news channel and an entertainment channel‚ which still has to be carried out. The deal‚ which is heavily tilted in MultiChoice's favour‚ gives the private broadcaster effective control over the public broadcaster's extensive archive.

Also at play was the chief operating officer being appointed before the CEO. That position has been vacant since the unexplained resignation of Lulama Mokhobo in February‚ just two years into her five-year contract.

Did Tshabalala lie about her CV?

Adding to the SABC's woes were allegations in Sunday's City Press newspaper that board chair Zandile Tshabalala‚ who is said to have motivated for Motsoeneng's appointment‚ may have lied about her curriculum vitae to Parliament. The paper alleged she claimed to have a degree from the University of South Africa‚ when she did not. The SABC board chair is appointed by the president on the recommendation of Parliament.

Requesting the portfolio committee hearing last week‚ Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis described offering the chief operating officer job to Motsoeneng as "irrational" since the post was not properly advertised and Motsoeneng did not have the prerequisite academic qualifications to fill it.

The DA will on Monday detail its legal plans to have the appointment reviewed with the aim of removing him from his position.

ANC puzzled

Muthambi's own party‚ the African National Congress (ANC)‚ is also puzzled by the sudden move to make Motsoeneng's appointment permanent. Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu‚ who chairs the ANC's subcommittee on communications‚ said they were surprised to hear of Motsoeneng's appointment.

"We don't micromanage the ministers and affairs of the different departments. However‚ when there are particular issues‚ then we expect the ministers‚ who are members of the (ANC) subcommittees‚ to brief us and explain what they plan to do‚" she said.

Zulu said the subcommittee had been told in February that the previous communications minister‚ Yunus Carrim‚ was dealing with Motsoeneng's appointment and the public protector's report on the SABC.

"We subsequently also heard that the new minister and the board were dealing with the public protector's recommendations‚ and then we heard there were lobbyists working to get Motsoeneng cleared‚" she said.

"We do expect the minister to explain the situation‚" Zulu said.

Muthambi‚ Tshabalala and SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago did not respond to requests for information.

Source: I-Net Bridge

For more:

  • Times Live: SABC chairwoman Zandile Tshabalala lied about her qualifications.. According to Times Live, quoting a City Press report, SABC chair Zandile Tshabalala lied to parliament about her qualifications.

    According to the City Press report, in her CV before the parliamentary portfolio committee on communications, Tshabalala said she graduated from Unisa with a BCom and a post-graduate diploma in labour relations.

    The claim was repeated in a statement by the presidency announcing her appointment.

    However, according to a Promotion of Access to Information Act application sent by the City Press, Unisa said Tshabalala had neither of the qualifications.


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