Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s press conference today to address issues facing the SABC is grounds for him to be immediately fired from the public broadcaster as he has breached the SABC Code of Conduct.
The interim board must now promptly terminate his employment and rid the SABC of the man responsible for the deep institutional rot at the public broadcaster.
Although the Western Cape High Court ordered that Motsoeneng cannot hold a position at the SABC pending the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings and/or the Public Protector’s report being set aside, it did not dismiss him from the public broadcaster and he, therefore, remains an employee “without portfolio”, and draws a salary of R350 000 a month for sitting at home.
As such, Motsoeneng is still bound by its Code of Conduct and various rules and regulations while awaiting his disciplinary hearing.
The SABC’s disciplinary code the – Disciplinary, Code of Conduct & Grievance Procedures lists misconduct as grounds for summary dismissal if an employee of the public broadcaster deliberately causes negative reporting of SABC affairs in the media.
The SABC’s Personnel Regulations also state that an employee’s services may be terminated at any stage for misconduct.
Hosting a press conference, as an SABC employee, without permission from the SABC board, or its management, constitutes a deliberate effort to undermine the SABC and to cause negative reporting of the various efforts to steer the SABC to calm waters.
This cannot go unpunished.
Previous boards failed to take strong action against Motsoeneng. It is time for the SABC interim board to show its teeth and its commitment to fixing the public broadcaster by firing Motsoeneng.
The SABC interim board has a long road ahead of it and the unenviable task of fixing problems years in the making. It is time it publicly demonstrates its seriousness to fix the public broadcaster and rid it of those who violates its rules.