Saturday, October 17, 2015

Exclusive: The charges against embattled SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng

From the article by Jenna Etheridge, News24

Hlaudi Motsoeneng with misconduct ahead of his disciplinary hearing at the end of the month, News24 can exclusively reveal on Friday.

The charge sheet and hearing notice, which Motsoeneng signed on Monday, charged Motsoeneng with a number of acts of misconduct. News24 is in possession of the charge sheet.

The document was compiled by SABC board chairperson Prof Mbulaheni Obert Maguvhe.

He explained in the letter that the board was of the view that disciplinary proceedings should be instituted pursuant to the outcome of court action between the public broadcaster and the Democratic Alliance at the Supreme Court of Appeal.

The SCA recently upheld a Western Cape High Court order by Judge Ashton Schippers that Motsoeneng be suspended for 60 days while a disciplinary hearing into his alleged malfeasance was conducted.

Motsoeneng on Tuesday filed an application in the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal the SCA judgment in respect of the suspension.

His disciplinary hearing is scheduled for October 30.

Maguvhe said the alleged acts were viewed “in a very serious light”.

Should he be found guilty, “the SABC will request that strong action be taken against you, which may include dismissal”.

The charge sheet, which News24 has obtained a copy of, listed the following alleged acts of misconduct:

Gross dishonesty (alternatively misrepresentation):

That when Motsoeneng applied for a position as a trainee journalist in March 1995 , he said on an application form that he had passed Standard 10 (matric) at age 23 with the following subjects and symbols: “English E, South Sotho E, Afrikaans E, Bibs E and History F”. It alleged that Motsoeneng misrepresented facts relating to his qualifications in that he did not possess the Standard 10 he alleged to have passed in his application form. It also said he was appointed on the basis that he had passed.

Gross dishonesty:

That when applying for the position of Current Affairs executive producer at the SABC in 2003, the broadcaster said he had not been truthful about a position he included on his CV. It charged him with misleading the SABC into believing he was once employed as head of communications at the Northern Cape tourism department.

Abuse of position (alternatively gross negligence):

That when he was a part of an SABC selection panel, he abused his position as acting COO by appointing a candidate that never applied for a position, and whom he interviewed despite her not being shortlisted.

Gross misconduct:

That he created a new position for an employee without advertising it internally or externally or holding interviews. It was further alleged that he transferred the employee to the new position without approval from the executive committee.

Abuse of position:

That while Acting COO, he unfairly dismissed senior staff members of the SABC for differing in opinion to him.

Gross misconduct:

That he unilaterally increased his salary and two others, which constituted unauthorised expenditure in terms of the Public Finance Management Act.

The charge document can be found at the bottom of the original News24 article.