South African Broadcasting Corporation chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
South African Broadcasting Corporation chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has suffered another court defeat after the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed his application for leave to appeal a ruling by the High Court in Cape Town, which effectively set aside his permanent appointment.

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.

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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".

In his initial ruling late last year, High Court Judge Dennis Davis said the information before Muthambi at the time of Motsoeneng’s promotion was "muddled and unclear", and put her "in no position to exercise a rational decision to elevate him".

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 had fabricated his matric qualification and had 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.

James Selfe, chairman of the DA’s federal executive, said on Monday that, "effectively Motsoeneng will have no joy from our courts and must vacate the SABC without delay".

Motsoeneng, Muthambi and the SABC "have been unsuccessful in almost all courts in which he has sought to keep his job," Selfe said.

"He and his band of protectors now need to abandon this abuse of our judicial system", which had already cost taxpayers’ millions, he said.

"The DA calls on Mr Motsoeneng and the SABC to stop their vexatious litigation and not approach the Constitutional Court, and to tender his resignation effective immediately. This is the only way that the process to restore the SABC’s credibility can begin."