Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has threatened to probe the SABC board if they reappointment Hlaudi Motsoeneng as chief operations officer.

Madonsela said on Cape Talk Radio on Friday she had written to Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to say Motsoeneng should not be considered for the position of COO and said if he was appointed it would raise questions “about the ability of this board to discharge its responsibilities”.

Thuli Madonsela
Thuli Madonsela

Meanwhile Motsoeneng remained defiant about his controversial reappointment when he spoke at the funeral of kwaito star Mandoza in Soweto, saying that no one would decide his future.

Madonsela, said on Cape Talk Radio on Friday she had written to Muthambi asking her to confirm if she has received a letter requesting the reappointment of Motsoeneng.

“I then said if she received that letter she should reject it because it would be irrational, unreasonable, unlawful and generally a violation of the principles of corporate governance,” said Madonsela.

“I also asked the minister to assess the ability of this board to discharge its responsibilities.

“If indeed the board released a letter of this nature then it raises questions about the board’s ability to discharge its fiduciary duties.”

The public protector added that she reminded Muthambi she was still investigating Motsoeneng on allegations of fraud, corruption and procurement irregularities.

“I am still waiting for the SABC board to respond to those allegations. It was also alleged that the board allows Motsoeneng to do whatever he wants to do and in return the board gets to have as many meetings as it wants and get paid for sittings,” said Madonsela.

On Friday Motsoeneng remained defiant of the Supreme Court of Appeal ruling that his appointment should be set aside. At Mandoza’s funeral he said he would continue to deliver no matter which position he occupied at the SABC.

“You can’t decide for my future. I will decide for my future,” he told mourners.

Motsoeneng’s open defiance came at the same time that President Jacob Zuma urged him to respect the Supreme Court of Appeal judgment. Zuma said he made an undertaking with the judiciary last year that government would respect decisions of the courts.

The SABC board has tried to circumvent the court decision by reinstating Motsoeneng as acting COO for the next three months.

SABC board member Krish Naidoo, who is a lawyer, this week broke ranks with fellow board members by refusing to endorse the decision to reappoint Motsoeneng. He said as an officer of the court he would not do something criminal.

– Political Bureau

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