The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture continues with testimony related to the SABC, from former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
(Courtesy of SABC)
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Motsoeneng’s qualifications were irrelevant in his appointment at SABC – ex-board chair
Former SABC board chairperson Ben Ngubane has said that despite not having a matric qualification, Hlaudi Motsoeneng was appointed to executive positions at the state broadcaster because of his sterling track record.
Ngubane was on Monday testifying at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, which is led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. The inquiry is currently investigating allegations of corruption and fraud at the public broadcaster.
The former board chairperson was providing evidence on the circumstances surrounding former SABC Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Earlier Ngubane told the commission that Motsoeneng was appointed because he was a skilled communicator and troubleshooter.
Hlaudi’s people skills were just what the SABC needed, says ex-chair
Ben Ngubane, the former chairperson of the SABC, testified on Monday that the public broadcaster’s ex-COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng was appointed because he was a skilled communicator and troubleshooter.
Ngubane was testifying at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, which is currently investigating allegations of corruption and fraud at the public broadcaster.
In addition to praising Motsoeneng’s communication skills, Ngubane said that the controversial New Age business breakfasts that the SABC hosted were solid business decisions and good for the public broadcaster. The former chair also denied having close links with members of the Gupta family, saying the only member in their circle he became close to was The New Age’s former editor Moegsien Williams.
Zondo commission: We had to ‘smuggle’ Madonsela onto our show after she released her report – SABC employee
Mwaba Phiri, who was the executive producer of the SABC’s Question Time programme, has told the state capture inquiry that after former public protector Thuli Madonsela released her report into the broadcaster, she had to be “smuggled” into a studio for an interview.
The programme was aimed at interviewing newsmakers in different sectors, daily. It provided in-depth coverage of current affairs, he said on Thursday.
Phiri told inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo after Madonsela released her report titled When Governance and Ethics Fail – which investigated, among other things, irregular appointments, promotions and salary hikes at the broadcaster – inviting her into the studio had to be done discreetly.
Motsoeneng’s protest coverage ban was the start of capture, SABC 8 journalist tells state capture inquiry
One of the so-called SABC 8, Krivani Pillay, has told the state capture commission that when former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng decided to ban the coverage of protest action in 2016, it was the start of alleged capture.
Testifying before inquiry chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, on Thursday, Pillay said Motsoeneng cancelled a show on SAFM after it criticised his decision.
She also told Zondo that the newsroom was “abused” and there were a lot of people who disagreed with him.
The SABC 8 was the name given to eight sacked journalists who spoke out against censorship of protest footage.
Zondo commission: SABC journalist told not to report on political events that led to Nenegate
The SABC’s economic editor, who is also part of the so-called SABC 8, Thandeka Gqubule-Mbeki has told the state capture inquiry she was requested not to report on the political events that resulted in the financial market impact following the dismissal of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister in 2015.
Gqubule-Mbeki told commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo: “The issue around Nenegate affected me and my department. It is our responsibility to tell the South African public about the value of the money in their pockets…”
She said the public broadcaster’s former head of TV news, Nothando Maseko, had requested that she should not mention former president Jacob Zuma’s conduct, quoting her as saying “the rand has been trading badly for a while and it is not the president’s behaviour that has done this”.
‘I was pushed from the SABC’, says former group CEO Lulama Mokhobo
Former SABC group CEO Lulama Mokhobo has told the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture certain people within the organisation would go to the “bottom pit of lies” to tarnish her name.
Testifying before the commission Wednesday, Mokhobo said she believed she was pushed from the organisation and attempts to do so had happened at least three times.
“There were rumours swirling around the organisation that I was going to be suspended and there were lots of lies that were being told about me.”
She said she and the chairperson of the board at the time, Ellen Tshabalalala, could not agree on many things, which included a multimillion-rand deal the SABC had signed with MultiChoice.
Motsoeneng took ex-SABC group CEO to Gupta compound to be ‘congratulated’ on her appointment – Zondo commission hears
A week after Lulama Mokhobo was appointed SABC group CEO, embattled former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng took her to the Gupta residence in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, to be congratulated, the state capture inquiry heard on Wednesday.
Mokhobo was appointed as the first woman CEO of the SABC in 2012 but resigned from the position in February 2014.
She told inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo: “Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who was acting COO, came to my office and said, ‘I have to take you somewhere very quickly’.
“He couldn’t tell me where it was. It was something very hush-hush. We arrived at this massive house and I saw on the wall Sahara Computers. He said: ‘We are here because these people want to congratulate you’.”