Have the wheels of justice finally come full circle for Hlaudi Motsoeneng? Following the Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA) decision that Motsoeneng’s appointment as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the SABC was irrational, it has emerged that the SCA is standing firm on its decision and has refused to hear an appeal from the defunct public broadcaster’s board.
While the SABC made it well-known that the former COO came to work this week as just another “ordinary” employee, others are not so sure. The Right to Know Campaign’s, Micah Ready, says it’s unlikely Communication’s Minister, Faith Muthambi is going to do the right thing, while Media Monitoring Africa’s, William Bird says that by now we shouldn’t be surprised by anything in a world where due process and good corporate governance are seldom followed.
Sadly, they may have a point. We’ve seen Hlaudi run the SABC like it’s his own personal pet project for years. Not unlike some other parastatal leaders we know, who are very close to the President’s heart.
In 2014, Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela raised the alarm, when she revealed that Motsoeneng had not only lied about his tertiary qualifications, but that he hadn’t even completed his schooling. She also discovered that the power-crazed leader had bumped up his own salary from R1.5 million to R2.4 million in just one year. If only that were the end of it?Retorting with the famous words: “I qualified myself”, Motsoeneng pointed the finger back at Madonsela accusing her of being as a messenger of the DA, contracted to spearhead its “mischievous political agendas”.
However, the evidence of improper conduct, abuse of power and maladministration since then has been overwhelming. Hlaudi’s long list of achievements include the purging of senior staff members who challenged him, the dismissal of journalists who spoke out against him, the sudden resignation of the SABC’s CEO, not to mention editorial interference and censorship. Ignoring Icasa’s order in July to change its editorial policy, the infamous dictator simply said that no one will tell him what to do, and that the accusations of censorship were nothing but hullabaloo.
Given the state of our economy no board of directors would ever consider appointing an unqualified, fumbling, power-crazed and greedy CEO to run a listed company. No, they would instead search for a humble and hardworking leader, one who has earned their position through hardwork, experience and has proven and certifiable expertise.
By now, no one is naïve enough to believe that the likes of Hlaudi or Dudu’s appointments are accidental. In the world that the ordinary people live in, unqualified, power-hungry dictators who run the organisations that they have been appointed to serve, to the brink of bankruptcy, are usually removed long before they can do such damage. It remains to be seen what the broader strategic agenda is for these seemingly untouchable parastatal leaders.