Former South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, flanked by his supporters, on Thursday vowed to fight “and win” at his disciplinary hearing.
“I have a great team led by Zola Majova… we’re ready for that hearing…and I will walk again,” he said at a briefing in Johannesburg.
The small room was packed with his supporters who clapped and ulululated as he spoke. They even brought CD copies of an album dedicated to him, titled “Hlaudi Dumela”.
“I am not representative SABC here…as you know, I’ve been told to stay home until my disciplinary action, at which I am gonna walk again. I walked at first one and am still gonna walk again,” he said confidently.
He said he did not know the date for his hearing yet.
Motsoeneng was replaced at the public broadcaster after a damning Parliament’s ad hoc committee report that found that the previous board had mismanaged the SABC, leading to loss of hundreds of millions of rands. The report followed a series of court actions, including a 2015 high court ruling that found that Motsoeneng’s appointment as COO was unlawful.
The committee also recommended that former Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, under whose watch the mismanagement happened, be fired. The SABC reportedly needs as much as R3-billion in a form of a bailout.
Motsoeneng lashed out at the MPs and claimed he did nothing wrong by implementing decisions such as ensuring 90 percent local content. His decision saw actors and musicians rally behind him last year.
“Our decisions were drivers by people’s needs. We went around the provinces, and people told us they needed local content. There was money at the SABC when I was there…”
The ad hoc committee “caused havoc” and didn’t afford him a right of reply. Their report is not implementable, he said.
He also attacked the new interim board and accused board member Krish Naidoo of being a “sell out”.
Naidoo resigned from the previous board during a committee sitting last year, and was included in the new interim board.
Motsoeneng praised President Jacob Zuma’s “radical economic transformation” statements, and added that SABC managers “were cowards” for not taking tough decisions and improving lives, including that of SABC service providers.