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Calls to boot Muthambi grow

By Staff Writer
According to a statement released by the DA on 25 September, the increase in calls for Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to be fired can no longer be ignored. This follows the outcry regarding the pay rise of the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) Chief Operations Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Salary increase

Motsoeneng’s salary came under speculation when it saw an increase of R912 000 in the last year alone. This means his salary went from R2 872 million to R3 784 million. This increase was said to have also included a R279 000 bonus.

According to Gavin Davis, Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow minister of communications, the salary increase has been knocked by an array of political organisations including the DA, African National Congress (ANC), ANC Youth League (ANCYL), Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), Congress of the People (Cope) and the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus). 

Muthambi’s response

Despite the debacle, Muthambi has remained silent on the matter.

“For too long Minister Muthambi has protected and promoted Motsoeneng because of his proximity to President Zuma. As Muthambi said to former SABC board member Hope Zinde: ‘But Baba loves Hlaudi, he loves him so much. We must support him,” said Davis.

It was in this vein, that Muthambi reportedly pressurised the SABC Board to endorse Motsoeneng for the position of COO in opposition to the Public Protector’s report, having any board member who went against the notion dismissed.

SABC report

More recently Muthambi was seen publically disagreeing with the ANC on their statement surrounding the management crisis at the SABC, said Davis.

According to a report she claimed: “The SABC is not in crisis, you know it very well, it’s not at all. And I can assure you, [the] SABC is on the right course, you know that, you know it very well that it’s on the right course and it’s delivering its public service mandate as expected.”

Making matters worse theSABC stated on 23 September, during a media briefing on their annual results, that they had recorded a R395 million loss in the last financial year.

While the CEO went on to say that the largest contribution to this figure was the public’s failure to pay their TV license. This raises questions about the pay increase that Motsoenengreceived during that period. If the SABC recorded a loss, how could the board condone approving an increase for the COO?

“If the ANC is serious about dealing with Motsoeneng, it will put pressure on President Zuma to remove Minister Muthambi from the Cabinet. Muthambi’s removal would send out the clearest signal that the ANC has finally lost patience with the never-ending shenanigans at the SABC,” revealed Davis.

The SABC had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.
 

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