Today's Big Stories

Does Motsoeneng still hold the SABC COO position?

Does Motsoeneng still hold the SABC COO position?: the Western Cape High Court has ruled that SABC Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng must be suspended pending an inquiry into his qualifications. Motsoeneng was appointed to the post after the Public Protector had found that he was unfit for the job of Acting Chief Operations Officer of the SABC. His appointment on a permanent basis was challenged in court by the DA. EWN Correspondent, Rahima Essop:

Judge Ashton Skippers has ordered the SABC board to serve Motsoaneng with charges within 14 days and launch a disciplinary process to be completed within 60 calendar days and an independent person should preside over proceedings. The judge has also ruled that Motsoaneng should be suspended with full pay, pending the outcome of this process. (On charges he must face) for lying about his qualifications, for purging senior staff members at the SABC, for improper conduct in appointment and salary increases, as well as abuse of power.

Meanwhile, Motsoeneng maintains he’s still in his position:

I’m still the COO of the SABC and I’m happy because this is a process that we are following and I respect the courts of this country but I believe that another court will find it in a different way. I still believe that I have never misled the SABC, so I’m happy and I’ve instructed my lawyers to appeal with immediate effect.

Motsoeneng’s lawyer, Zola Majavu says his client is only effectively suspended upon receipt of acharge sheet:

We respect the judiciary and presiding judge, however my instructions are to bring an immediate application for leave to appeal. We’re currently busy with filing papers at the moment. If we don’t file by this afternoon, we’ll definitely file on Monday morning. The effect thereof would be to immediately suspend the execution of the current judgement. He (Motsoeneng) is suspended pending the finalisation of the disciplinary proceedings, but the commencement of those disciplinary proceedings will be only upon him receiving the charge sheet from his employer. He (Judge Skippers) gave the employer – that is the SABC – 14 days from today to serve him with the charge sheet. So if he (Motsoeneng) were to receive the charge sheet today, notionally, he would be suspended from today. If he were to receive it on day 12, then his suspension would kick in on that day. But that we are hoping that will become academic as soon as we serve our application for leave to appeal.

The DA’s FederalChairperson, James Selfe disagrees with Majavu’s interpretation of the judge’sruling:

I think he’s being economical with his interpretation. The judge said that while the Public Protector’s findings are not binding to an organ of state, they cannot be equally ignored. This means you have to implement the Public Protector’s findings unless you find compelling reasons not to, in court.

What’s the fate of Numsa within COSATU?: confirmation on Thursday evening that COSATU’s Central Executive Committee adjourned its meeting without holding a vote on whether to expel its biggest affiliate - the metalworkers union Numsa. COSATU General-Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi unpacked the evening’s events:

We couldn’t conclude the discussion as it was quite an involved discussion and it was without the ANC involved in the CEC. We will now have it again on April 7th, with a focus on: (1) the status of the Deputy President (2) NUMSA’s presentation on why it can’t be suspended (3) to receive a report from the COSATU President on whether a special congress should be convened (4)a report about processes relating to the COSATU General-Secretary, who was charged with bringing the organisation into disrepute, following an affair which he admitted with COSATU staffer. We will look at all of these areas with the principles of finding unity within the Congress. (As to whether a special COSATU congress will happen) I can’t prempt a discussion that hasn’t taken place and it will be decided on at the April 7th meeting

Will Khama continue as the man-in-charge of Botswana?: Botswana Prime Minister Sir Ian Khama’s Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is now facing its toughest challenge in elections there. The BDP has been in power since 1965. EWN Africa Correspondent, Jean Jacques Cornish:

It (the BDP) won the last elections in 2009 – of the 63 seats, it holds 45, it holds a vast majority. But for the first time, the Botswana Congress Party – this umbrella for democratic change – have remained cohesive. The new Botswana Movement for Democracy – a break away from the ruling party – that’s made itself known. I don’t think Ian Khama is going to lose the election, he’ll get his second mandate, but he’s got his work cut out for him. The impact for the opposition has been in the urban seats.

Is State Prosecutor Adv. Gerrie Nel pursuing an appeal of the Masipa verdict?: WITS Law Professor, James Grant sent out a tweet this morning, in which he says he’s been consulted by Nel who may be preparing to appeal the verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial:

Grant explains the grounds for appeal:

He (Nel) just asked what my thinking was on the judgement by Judge Masipa and whether I thought it was worthwhile him appealing. I do believe Judge Masipa made several errors in her judgement in result of that, he should appeal.

Is the Zimbabwean First Lady still ‘playing politics’?: President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe has publically attacked Vice President Joice Mujuru in what’s being read as confirmation she is going to run for the top job herself. EWN Zimbabwe Correspondent, Ryan Truscott:

This was a stinging attack. She said that Mujuru was incompetent, she survives on extortion. And then in response to people saying she (Grace Mugabe) in fact wants to be President, she said ‘Why not? Aren’t I a Zimbabwean?’, which is probably going as far as putting herself up as her husband’s successor.

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