SABC’s Motsoeneng ‘lied’ his way to the top

Public protector Thuli Madonsela has painted a damning picture of “fraud”, “lies” and “abuse of power” by SABC acting chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng and said that communications minister Yunus Carrim must act urgently to stop the rot at the public broadcaster. By Duncan McLeod.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng (image courtesy of the Mail & Guardian)

Hlaudi Motsoeneng (image courtesy of the Mail & Guardian)

Acting SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng was appointed irregularly to the position and committed fraud by lying repeatedly about his qualifications.

These are just two of a wide number of damning findings in a report by public protector Thuli Madonsela that implicates the state-owned broadcaster’s board, as well as former communications minister Dina Pule and other senior executives and government officials, in maladministration, systemic corporate governance failures and abuse of power.

Madonsela’s report finds that Motsoeneng was appointed to several posts at the SABC despite having no qualifications — not even a matric certificate — and that he lied about this in an attempt to cover it up.

“Motsoeneng would have never been appointed [to the SABC] in 1995 had he not lied about his qualifications,” the report finds. He repeated the lie in 2003 when he applied for the post of executive producer of current affairs, a position to which he should never have been appointed.

The report says an allegation that Motsoeneng committed fraud by stating in a job application form that he had completed matric from Metsimantsho High School is “substantiated”.

By his own admission, Motsoeneng had “filled in made-up symbols” and promised to supply a matric certificate to confirm his qualifications when he knew he had not completed matric and did not have the promised certificate, Madonsela’s report says.

It finds that SABC management — and its human resources department — did not exercise the necessary prudence to avoid Motsoeneng’s misrepresentation of his qualifications and that this constituted “improper conduct and maladministration”.

Madonsela expresses “concern” that Motsoeneng’s employment file “disappeared amid his denying ever falsifying his qualifications”.

The report finds, too, that Motsoeneng received salary increases that were in violation of the SABC’s personnel regulations. Outgoing group CEO Lulama Mokhobo must account for signing off on a big salary hike for Motsoeneng.

Gugu Duda was also appointed irregularly as chief financial officer, the reports says, even though she was not an applicant for the position and was only interviewed long after the recruitment process had been closed. This appears to have happened at the insistence of disgraced former communications minister Dina Pule. Duda’s appointment was “unlawful”.

“Although I could not find conclusive evidence that Pule personally ordered that Duda’s CV be handed over to the SABC and that the board interview her against the law as alleged, there is sufficient evidence that suggests an invisible hand from her direction and that of [Pule’s boyfriend, Phonsane] Mngqibisa, to which we can legitimately attribute this gross irregularity.”

Even though Pule has denied the allegations, Madonsela notes that it is “unclear” why the minister “speedily approved [Duda's] appointment as she did when the irregularities were obvious”.

“The conduct of Pule as minister of communications was accordingly improper and constitutes maladministration,” Madonsela says in her report.

Pule’s conduct constitutes a violation of the executive ethics code and is an abuse of power.

Furthermore, communications department acting director-general Themba Phiri acted unlawfully in submitting Duda’s CV to Motsoeneng after the selection process had been concluded. In addition, Motsoeneng acted unlawfully in accepting it and ordering that she be included in the selection process.

Communications minister Yunus Carrim must institute disciplinary steps against Phiri, the report says.

Dina Pule ... in trouble yet again

Dina Pule … in trouble once again

Elsewhere, Madonsela finds that Motsoeneng not only purged senior staff members, leading to an “avoidable loss” of millions of rand due to “unnecessary settlements for irregular terminations of contracts”, but he also irregularly increased the salaries of various staff members, including a shop steward, resulting in a salary bill increase of more than R29m.

In her report, Madonsela says Carrim must take “urgent steps” to fill the long-outstanding position of chief operating officer of the SABC. This “suitably qualified permanent incumbent” must be appointed within 90 days. He must also establish why there is a high turnover of group CEOs at the SABC and act to remedy the situation.

Carrim must also define the role and authority of the chief operating officer in relation to the group CEO and ensure that overlaps in authority are identified and removed.

The SABC board, meanwhile, must take “appropriate disciplinary action” against Motsoeneng for his “dishonesty relating to the misrepresentation of his qualifications, abuse of power and improper conduct” in the appointment and salary increments of SABC executive Sully Motsweni as well as his role in purging senior staff members that led to “numerous labour disputes and settlement awards” against the public broadcaster.

Action must also be taken against Mokhobo for her “improper conduct” in bumping up Motsoeneng’s salary.  — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media

Share this article

  • Wizzard

    Yislike is this all one reads about these days? Corruption everywhere. Atleast there is one person in South Africa doing her job , the public protector, just a pity there is so much corruption that she cant keep up with all of it.

  • coneil5150

    CLOWARD and PIVON over run the system. Destroy and build it back up.
    It’s happening but don’t dare mention it. OR YOU ARE A RACIST

  • Marcan

    Under the Reign of Zoomer, this Mr Happy will be promoted. Motsoeneng introduced the 70% rule, 70% of news has to be happy and positive.

  • David H

    J.Z. alleged in Khayelitsha that the ruling party listens to the people and engages with the people, etc.
    Make 70% of us ‘very much’ happy J.Z. and get rid of this positively disgraceful public servant….if you dare!

  • Davebee

    This is surprising news?
    Not to us Old Farts who warned in the 60’s and 70’s EXACTLY what would happen in this country after an ANC Uhuru in1994. It’s playing out as in some sort of horror movie script.
    Arms deal scandal
    Local Government….need I go on?

  • Lumina SS

    a MATRICLESS chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

  • eish

    unbelievable how the cANCer is given ANY responsibility to run the country – they are still stuck in a “struggle” culture as opposed to a governing culture

  • Wizzard

    No matter how bad it gets it will still never be as bad as the horror that was apartheid. Dont get me wrong, I dont agree with many of the things the ANC is doing and I will go to the voting stations on 7 May to make my voice heard.

  • Davebee

    Yes I remember the ‘horrors’ of Apartheid clearly, that’s back when the schools functioned as schools and not parking garages to keep kids off the streets and the hospitals had their full range of X Ray machines and equipment not as per now where 90% has been flogged off to ‘doctors’
    Yes go and cast your vote on May 7th, it will do you no good whatsoever, zilch, zippo, nada, nothing.
    You will be merely legitimising a corrupt one party system. If every single opposition party voter turned out on May 7th the ANC would still outvote them by roughly 8 to 1.
    The ‘masses’ can’t help it, it’s in their DNA to vote for these venal crooks.
    I also hold with the maxim of: It matters little who votes, what matters is tally’s ‘em up afterwards. Take a book on the 7/5/2014 it could be a long wait.

  • Wizzard

    Im glad not everyone is as negative as you. Might seem far fetched now but there is always hope and you need to play your part and not sit and wait for everyone to make things better for you. every 1c eventually becomes a rand.

    And as far as that rosy picture you painted on apartheid tells me you really scared of change and still holding onto the past. Apartheid may have been nice for you and a select group of light skinned folks but think of the majority of the population that suffered great crimes against humanity just so that you can live alone in your own segregated town. This is not the reality we living in today in 2014.
    I know its natural for ALL humans to resist change at first but damm you holding on for tooooo long.

  • Tuesday Is Soylent Green Day

    Who says you can’t get a job without a matric? As long as you are the right skin colour, of course….

  • Lumina SS

    True, I forgot about that option in South Africa.

  • Nkosinathi Ngilambile

    That explains why the ” qualified staff are a drain on the organization” and should be purged.

  • Magic Mushroom


  • MelcolmX

    ANC, SANRAL, SABC, Telkom, Eskom anything associated with this government is misinformation or deceptive! Good example of how government business is run. Reflects the status quo!
    Time for a CO-OP Government. “Rotten to the Core”

  • baasted_123

    no firing them is not enough.
    This is a criminal offense. They should be trialed and put in jail.

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