SOS welcomes the judgment handed down by the SCA, this morning, confirming Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s suspension and directing the SABC to institute disciplinary procedures against him for misconduct as found by the Public Protector in her 2014 report When Governance and Ethics Fail. Some of the charges against Motsoeneng that the Public Protector found to be substantiated include (but are not limited to):
Vindicated in our firm and consistent position as we might be by this excellent judgment for which the Court must be congratulated in its strident defense of our constitutional democracy, the Coalition has little to celebrate. The SABC, its amazing workers, and the 7million households in South Africa that rely almost exclusively on it for their information, education and entertainment needs remain the losers:
What more that is a rotten cancer eating away at the SABC from the inside out must they be presiding over and defending?
There is no doubt that Motsoeneng, the SABC Board and the Minister will, again and at our continued expense, continue to abuse our already overloaded and under-resourced court system, and appeal this matter at the Constitutional Court. We are also under no illusions that the SABC Board and Minister will commit themselves to instituting the Public Protector’s recommendations in good faith, given the utmost contempt they have expressed towards her and her office. To this end, all of us must remain ever vigilant, and ready to defend our national treasure – our SABC – and commit ourselves to ensuring that what is yielded from the process is not mediocre base-minimum compliance with the law that protects and rewards wrongdoing, but a shining example of public accountability in action.
If we are serious about seeing an independent and transformed media landscape in South Africa, we must start by cleaning house at the SABC, and deliver to our people an SABC that delivers on its mandate, an SABC that runs a clean shop, an SABC that takes a zero tolerance stance on fraudulent and egregious misconduct – in short, an SABC that works.
The SOS Coalition represents a broad spectrum of civil society stakeholders committed to the broadcasting of quality, diverse, citizen-orientated public-interest programming aligned to the goals of the SA Constitution. The Coalition includes a number of trade union federations including COSATU and FEDUSA, a number of independent unions including BEMAWU and MWASA; independent film and TV production sector organisations including the South African Screen Federation (SASFED); a host of NGOs and CBOs including the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), SECTION27 and a number of academics and freedom of expression activists.
For more information contact:
Sekoetlane Jacob Phamodi
076 084 8077
A pdf version of this press statement can be found here.