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Madonsela: SABC board not fully co-operating in Motsoeneng probe

JOHANNESBURG – Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela says the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board has not been co-operating fully with the investigation into allegations of corruption against Hlaudi Motsoeneng
On Tuesday, Motsoeneng reported for duty at the SABC as an “ordinary employee” after the Supreme Court of Appeal rejected his bid for leave to appeal against a High Court ruling that set aside his permanent appointment. 

Madonsela says if Motsoeneng is appointed to any senior position, it will be illegal.

“The last thing you would want to do is to appoint Mr Motsoeneng into any senior position until a proper disciplinary inquiry has been done based on the previous report which was called for in government.”

Madonsela says she has written to Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and the SABC board.

“It was also alleged that the board allows Mr Motsoeneng to do whatever he pleases and in return the board gets to have as many meetings as it wants, and obviously it gets paid for sittings. The board is also given tickets to various events against policy.”

Earlier today, Madonsela said that if Motsoeneng is returned to the permanent position of COO, there would need to be a probe into the SABC board.

“We are conducting an investigation into various allegations of corruption, abuse of power and maladministration by Mr Motsoeneng, who is alleged to be involved in wrongful procurement and the dismissal of people who stand in his way.”

From an article on EWN

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HOW HONOURABLE IS THE SABC BOARD? | BEMAWU

OPEN LETTER TO ALL BEMAWU MEMBERS

Just how honourable is the SABC board?

This is the question being asked by WILSON JOHWA on SEPTEMBER 22 2016,  in bussiness day (http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/columnists/2016/09/22/editors-lunchbox-sabc-boards-honour-or-lack-thereof-on-display)

“This is most likely to depend on whether board members decide to reappoint Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who has come to realise that the courts cannot protect him from the recommendation of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela — that he is not fit for the office of chief operating officer. The SABC board is scheduled to convene on October 28.”

BEMAWU has seen a memorandum addressed to Board Members to vote for the appointment (again) of Mr Motsoeneng as Acting COO.

The memorandum is fatally flawed, as it listed Mr Motsoeneng as a recipient to vote in a Round Robin. The High Court ruled that Mr Motsoeneng’s appointment must be set aside – a decision now accepted by him after the Supreme Court of Appeal, the highest authority for non-constitutional matters declined, in no uncertain terms his leave to appeal. Therefore Mr Motsoeneng is no longer an employee of the SABC, and in any event, he cannot vote for his own appointment.

Was this an oversight, or is this indicative of how the Public Broadcaster’s affairs are run from the top? If it was an oversight, how many more oversights that we do not know off?

What will happen if the Board decides to appoint Mr Motsoeneng as acting COO again – despite an earlier court ruling that his appointment was unlawful? Will this entire process of fruitless and wasteful litigation repeats itself? It would be interesting to see what has happened with Advertising Sales – the life blood of the SABC’s existence since this matter started.

A wild guess would be that it is considerably down – maybe with more than 50%?

What impact did the compulsive announcement of 90/10 content had on the SABC’s coffers? Suddenly the higher LSM advertisers found themselves with a low LSM audience, simply not interested and/or who cannot afford what they advertising. So they moved! Additionally, what financial implication was there in terms of already purchased content which now either cannot be broadcasted, or at least in the prime time slots attractive to advertisers? The impact must be massive.

What happens when an employer does not make money? They cut heads. They retrench. Will we ever forget the McKinsey exercise?

(http://mg.co.za/article/1997-02-28-secret-slash-plan-for-sabc)

“THE SABC has been advised to axe nearly 1 000 staff and to cut R200-million from the cost of its radio and support services.

Two confidential reports by top United States company McKinsey Consultants detail cost-cutting measures ranging from shutting satellite service Astrasat to retrenching staff in chief executive Zwelakhe Sisulu’s office and monitoring personal phone calls.

But McKinsey – which is being paid R6- million to advise the SABC on how to save money – also warns that the cuts will still fail to meet savings the consultancy deems vital to financially safeguarding the SABC. The broadcaster is currently operating with a R60-million deficit.”

Has the time not come for us as employees to stand up and say “No more”? How much more money will be spent before it’s too late? And no, we don’t talk smart English and we are not from outside. We are the workers, we are the union, we are the SABC. It’s your employment that could be at stake. In a country with a very high unemployment rate will you be able to make ends meet without a job? Will you be able to maintain your standard of living? Will you possibly lose your car, your house? Will you be able to afford medical aid? Those are real questions we need to consider.

(http://www.tradingeconomics.com/south-africa/unemployment-rate)

“South Africa's unemployment rate slightly decreased to 26.6 percent in the June quarter of 2016 from 26.7 percent in the three months to March. The number of unemployed fell by 1.6 percent and employment went down 0.8 percent. Unemployment Rate in South Africa averaged 25.31 percent from 2000 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 31.20 percent in the first quarter of 2003 and a record low of 21.50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. Unemployment Rate in South Africa is reported by the Statistics South Africa.”

A slight decrease in unemployment rate is NOT good news for job seekers. It means possible jobs have been taken. Is it not time to put up our hands and say to the Board enough is enough?

We support Board Member Krish Naidoo:

JOHANNESBURG – South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board member Krish Naidoo has confirmed that members of the board have said they want to reappoint Hlaudi Motsoeneng as the corporation’s acting Chief Operating Officer.

Naidoo has confirmed a report in The Times newspaper this morning that he has opposed the plan after the Supreme Court of Appeal refused to hear an appeal against an earlier ruling that Motsoeneng had been appointed through a flawed process.

He has confirmed his quoted comments in the times that the board of the SABC wants to try and reinstate Motsoneng.

But he says he has voted against the proposal because he believes it would be illegal and undermine the rule of law to essentially ignore the court’s decision that Motsoeneng was not properly appointed.

Naidoo has also said that that time has come for the president and the Affrican National Congress to open their mouths and say something decisive.

He’s also told the paper that it would be illegal for any director of the SABC to actually vote in favour of this resolution and that any board member who votes yes would be in contempt of court.”

 

(http://ewn.co.za/2016/09/22/Reports-Krish-Naidoo-opposes-reappointment-of-Motsoeneng-as-SABC-acting-COO)

If you want us to put an ultimatum to the rest of the Board, please reply to this email and show support for job security, a financially stable SABC, transparent processes when it comes to appointments, equal opportunities for all, proper procurement processes and prosperity.

Aluta!

BEMAWU

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MEDIA STATEMENT | SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL DISMISSING MR MOTSOENENG’S LEAVE TO APPEAL

MEDIA STATEMENT : SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL DISMISSING MR MOTSOENENG’S LEAVE TO APPEAL

The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU) is happy that the litany of legal proceedings by Mr Motsoeneng and the Board to avoid the unavoidable has finally come to an end.

The appointment of Mr Motsoeneng was unlawful. The Minister, the SABC Board and we all knew that – from the beginning. What now remains is the following:

  1. To held liable personally the Minister and Members of the Board jointly and severally for the legal cost incurred by the SABC to defend the unlawful appontment of Mr Motsoeneng,
  2. To held liable personally the Minister and members of the Board jointly and severally for all cost incurred by Mr Motsoeneng since his unlawful appointment as an unlawfully appointed person cannot make lawful decisions.
  3. To remove the Minister and the Board for unlawfully appointing Mr Motsoeneng,
  4. For its successors to implement the recommendations of the Public Protector, which now remains unchallenged, and as follows:

(c) The SABC Board to ensure that:

1) All monies are recovered which were irregularly spent through unlawful and improper actions from the appropriate persons.

2) Takes appropriate disciplinary action against the following:

(aa) Mr Motsoeneng for his dishonesty relating to the misrepresentation of his qualifications, abuse of power and improper conduct in the appointments and salary increments of Ms Sully Motsweni, and for his role in the purging of senior staff members resulting in numerous labour disputes and settlement awards against the SABC;

(bb) Ms Lulama Mokhobo, the outgoing GCEO for her improper conduct in the approval of the salary increment of Mr Motsoeneng;

(cc) To ensure that any fruitless and wasteful expenditure that had been incurred as a result of irregular salary increments to Mr Motsoeneng, Ms Motsweni, Ms Khumalo and the freelancers, is recovered from the appropriate persons;

(dd) To ensure that in future there is strict and collective responsibility by the SABC Board members through working as a collective and not against each other, in compliance with the relevant legislation, policies and prescripts that govern the National Broadcaster; and

(ee) To issue a public apology to Ms P Ntombela-Nzimande, Ms C Mampane and all its former employees who had suffered prejudice due to the SABC management and Board’s maladministration involving failure to handle the administration of its affairs in accordance with the laws, corporate policies and principles of corporate governance.

(ff) To review all their HR processes pertaining to creation of new posts, appointments and salary scales and progressions.

END///////

Hannes du Buisson

0829208669

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ANN 7 WORKERS DISPUTE SETTLED

Eight of the nine ANN 7 employees today reached an agreement with their former employer and settled the unfair dismissal dispute at the CCMA in Pretoria. 

The terms of the agreement is confidential.

None of the former employees wanted to be reinstated and opted for a financial settlement. 

The Arbitration was presided over by Commissioner Paul Botha. ANN7 was represented by Adv Emile Kilian and the employees was represented by BEMAWU. 

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SABC EXECUTIVE BACK AFTER 2 YEARS ON SUSPENSION, NO CHARGES | BEMAWU

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE!

8 September 2016

The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU) is deeply concerned by the fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by the Public Broadcaster as a result of the number of people on suspension for no apparent valid reason.

Yesterday Mr Itani Tseisi returned to work after being on suspension on full pay since May 2014 – 2 years and 4 months . He was suspended for allegedly leaking information to the media. Mr Tseisi is one of many who has been unfairly suspended and many employees are still on suspension.

Clearly that allegation was malicious and false as no charges were brought against Mr Tseisi for what he was suspended for.

There is clearly something seriously wrong at the SABC, and it is sad and worrying that employees have to remain positive and productive in this culture of fear and unfairness.

We once again ask for an urgent intervention at the SABC to restore order, good corporate governance and compliance with policies and procedures.

END/

Hannes du Buisson

BEMAWU

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‘We should probe why so many people are interested in SABC matters’ | MOTSOENENG

Hlaudi Motsoeneng says there should be a probe into why so many people are interested in SABC matters.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng
Hlaudi Motsoeneng

Gaye Davis |

CAPE TOWN – South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng says there’s no need for an inquiry into the public broadcaster.

A defiant Motsoeneng today told Members of Parliament (MPs) there should rather be an investigation into why so many people are interested in what is happening at the organisation.

Parliament’s communications committee today decided against any inquiry into the SABC after hearing from Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, Motsoeneng and other board members.

Full story here.