Muthambi silent on Motsoeneng's fate

Cape Town - Communications Minister Faith Muthambi on Tuesday told MPs she could not reveal her plans regarding SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng because the DA would use the information to bolster its legal challenge to his appointment.

"The review is pending in court, whatever I say here I know you can use it in the review application... hence I raise the sub judice rule," Muthambi told Parliament's communications portfolio committee.

Muthambi was scheduled to brief the committee on progress on implementing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on the SABC and Motsoeneng's conduct while acting chief operations officer.

Madonsela recommended disciplinary action against him for falsely stating that he held a matric certificate, purging staff, and irregularly increasing salaries, including his own -- inflating the public broadcaster's salary bill by R29m.

Muthambi read out a statement that largely repeated that the department had appointed him as permanent chief operations officer in response to one of Madonsela's directives, namely that the minister must fill the post with a suitably qualified permanent incumbent within 90 days.

Contempt for Madonsela 'unacceptable'

Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis accused her of ignoring the public protector's report, which carried a deadline of 16 August for the minister to implement its recommendations.

"I find this contempt for the public protector to be unacceptable and probably unconstitutional," he said.

"This government has failed to implement the remedial action set out in the public protector's report just like it failed to implement the remedial action in the Nkandla [saga] and this growing trend should really be of great concern to every South African who cares about our constitutional democracy."

Muthambi countered that the DA was to blame for her inability to say more, because it had asked the Western Cape High Court to set aside Motsoeneng's appointment and thereby subverted the parliamentary process.

"This matter is very difficult for me now to deliberate because it is the same DA that opted to ignore these parliamentary processes and took the matter to court.

"I maintain the matter is sub judice... This parliamentary process was going to be fruitful had the DA not decided to take the matter for review so I won't allow them to come here and build their review application by my responses."

EFF MP ‘wasting commitee’s time’

She said she was co-operating with Madonsela, whom she met last week, and suggested that the presentation to the committee did not constitute the full extent of her compliance with the findings.

Muthambi also added that they had discussed Madonsela's frustration with the SABC's response to her report.

But Economic Freedom Fighters MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the minister was wasting the committee's time with a "lousy report... a non-report", and described her recourse to the sub judice rule as "hogwash".

"There is a game here, it is growing like a cancer in the government. We are toothless, there is nothing we can do.

"Unfortunately I think that when a protest action will be unleashed in a situation like this people will say that we are childish that we are rowdy when they are like uninterruptedly ignoring everything about the proper running of our country.

"The public protector's report can only be reviewed in a court of law. You can't ignore it. There is no response whatsoever to the public protector's remedial actions that must be taken."

He suggested that the meeting be adjourned, and chairperson Joyce Moloi-Moropa conceded, saying the matter would be dealt with at a later stage.

Akhenaten 2014-08-26 02:04:53 PM
We need more courts as anything the ANC does need approval from the courts. They don't seem to do much right. This is expensive to have unqualified people in charge.
Phalo Yem Yem Togu 2014-08-26 02:06:16 PM
I have to agree with "Code Red" here. Why did you even bother and try to give the report if you wanted to waist their time. Nxxxxx.
Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg 2014-08-26 02:07:31 PM
You don't come across it often, but sometimes a plank has more brains than a politician.
Prince Ramalia 2014-08-26 02:08:09 PM
useless woman
Johan Nothnagel 2014-08-26 02:10:40 PM
Just Curious, I pay my TV lisense each year..... Can we vote who must run SABC ? Cause its our money thou........
Mualusi Nhlanhla Skhumbuzo 2014-08-26 02:11:35 PM
Fate never disappoint. Fate will take its course soon....! BeWarnedANC
Johan Nothnagel 2014-08-26 02:16:41 PM
Talk Talk Talk Blah Blah Blah........... Get Gerrie Nel to sort him out....... THE END !!!!!!
Nin Ja Kitty 2014-08-26 02:19:20 PM
Oo e e. Indecision. The law should be allowed to take its course. If you do not belong somewhere you need to leave. If you have commited a crime then you need to sit the time. I cannot see what the problem here is Minister of Communications. Eish.
Liz Buitendag 2014-08-26 02:20:02 PM
He is not qualified and must go. Money is again being wasted.
Venicia Williams 2014-08-26 02:34:16 PM
Why can't the Department of Communication just find someone who is qualified and competent for the job...why must they cover for this liar who haven't passed matric?