Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says she has filed an affidavit opposing the DA court bid to reverse the SABC board's decision to appoint Hlaudi Motsoeneng permanently as chief operations officer.
Communications Minister Faith Mutambi says with regard to Motsoeneng's views on the licencing of journalists, "For now, there’s nothing on my plate like that.” (Image: GCIS)
Describing the matter as sub judice, Muthambi said she would not reveal the content of her responding affidavit, filed in the Pretoria High Court.
She had decided to endorse Motsoeneng's appointment after seeking her own legal opinion, she said.
Mchunu Attorneys, the law firm the SABC had hired following Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report into Motsoeneng's appointment, recently told the Sunday Times that its brief related only to Madonsela's report. It had not considered Motsoeneng's appointment or whether this had been irregular, it said.
The DA has insisted Motsoeneng's permanent appointment was irrational considering Madonsela's report on his previous appointment as acting chief operations officer.
In February, Madonsela released a report that, among other things, found that Motsoeneng had lied about his qualifications, acted in bad faith by increasing his salary three times in one year from R1.5m to R2.4m a year, and had purged senior staff at the SABC.
PP's report 'not the last word'
On Thursday last week, Muthambi said the SABC board's decision had been in its own interest. She insisted that Madonsela's report was not the last word on the matter and could be challenged.
"We have a responsibility to respect Chapter 9 institutions ... whatever has been done [Motsoeneng's permanent appointment] was not in disregard of the public protector's opinion," she said.
Recently, in an SABC radio interview, Motsoeneng said journalists in South Africa should be licensed.
Muthambi refused to condemn this, saying only that it was his opinion.
"Even if there's anything [like that] that we want to introduce, we will be able to consult with you [the media] thoroughly. For now, there's nothing on my plate like that," said Muthambi.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa told a meeting of the parliamentary press corps that he did not believe South Africa was in danger of increasing censorship.
"No, I do not believe there is censorship creep. I applaud the rigour of the media. Be brave and bold," he said.
Source: The Times, via I-Net Bridge
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Not surprising that the so-called minister has taken this stand. The cabinet and entire government, with all its various institutions have been taken over and run by pro-Zuma acolytes. So for the head of the SABC to be another ANC appointee with loyalties to the party and toeing their line is not at all surprising either. Future press freedom-I don't think so!!