The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) is extremely displeased with the decision by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to appoint its former Chief Operations Officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng, as its Group Executive of Corporate Affairs. The decision by the SABC comes a few days after the Supreme Court of Appeal had dismissed, with costs, the application for leave to appeal against the Western Cape High Court decision. The High Court decision set aside as invalid Motsoeneng’s appointment as the public broadcaster’s COO. On the face of it the Board of the SABC has circumvented the consequences of the Western Cape High Court decision and the Supreme Court of Appeal’s pronouncement on the matter. The actions of the SABC amount to a continual dragging of its name into the mud and shows that the public broadcaster has no respect for the rule of law, the Constitution and the principles of good corporate Governance.
The Public Broadcaster plays a pivotal role in the promotion of democracy in South Africa and must be treated with the seriousness required. We therefore call upon the SABC to take itself seriously as it has lost the public’s trust.
The SABC is a state owned entity(SOE) but runs it’s affairs without regard for accountability to government and the taxpayer. We frown upon the “ laissez fairer” approach of the SABC. The free reign of its Board, in light of numerous judgments and negative findings by the public protector, only demonstrate to all and sundry that there is no political will to deal with that seems to be in the good books of the dominant view within government. This again leads to one inescapable conclusion, in this daily drama of tragedy in our country, that there is a vacuum in terms of leadership.
We urge the South African Government to investigate the ongoing insistence by the SABC Board to appoint Motsoeneng. We strongly believe that there is much more which needs to be unearth in these controversial and continuous actions of the SABC Board. The SABC Board has demonstrated, beyond any questions, that it is incapable of performing its oversight functions in relation to the Public Broadcaster. The Minister of Communications must accordingly conduct an enquiry on the fitness of the Board to continue with the functions assigned to it. We support both the cabinet position and the statement issued by the Chief Whip of the African National Congress (Mr Jackson Mthembu), in which they call for an action against the Board and the removal of Mr Motsoeneng from the SABC but not without first asking, what took so long?
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DEMOCRATIC LAWYERS (NADEL), SOUTH AFRICA.
By: Memory Sosibo
Publicity Secretary, NADEL Executive Committee,
Contact: 081 710 7910