Hlaudi Motsoeneng.   Picture: SOWETAN
Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: SOWETAN

SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng will not approach the Constitutional Court after the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed his application for leave to appeal a high court ruling that his appointment be set aside.

Motsoeneng’s fate now lay in the hands of the public broadcaster, said his lawyer, Zola Majavu. "We wrote to the SABC, as his employer, asking for their position on the matter. Our next step would be informed by the employer’s response as he did not employ himself," Majavu said.

In May, the high court dismissed with costs an application by Motsoeneng and the SABC for leave to appeal against a ruling that invalidated his permanent appointment. Motsoeneng, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and the broadcaster subsequently approached the Supreme Court.

The case was brought to the court by the DA, based on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s findings against him in 2014. In her report, When Governance and Ethics Fail, Madonsela found Motsoeneng fabricated his matric qualification and increased his salary irregularly, from R1.5m to R2.4m in one year.

Motsoeneng’s battle to retain his job at the broadcaster has dragged on for more than two years. It has played out in the high court, the Supreme Court of Appeal and in the Constitutional Court, where it had an abortive stint. In its ruling last week, the appeal court stated that "the application for leave to appeal is dismissed with costs on the grounds that there is no reasonable prospect of success in an appeal and there is no other compelling reason why it should be heard".

The Communications Ministry noted the Supreme Court’s judgment and said it was studying the judgement. "The ministry is … confident that the board of the SABC will make an informed decision on how it intends to handle the ruling," it said.