'In my time at the SABC I even paid the cleaners well'
FORMER SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng used the memorial service of former Communication Workers’ Union spokesperson Matankana Mothapo to lash out at his detractors, saying he (Motsoeneng) did a splendid job at the public broadcaster and paid his workers well.
Motsoeneng, in paying a special tribute to Mothapo at his memorial service at the University of Johannesburg’s Bunting Road Campus last night, said the astute communicator who died in Joburg last week, called him “The General”.
He urged those in attendance not to listen to gossip. “What people are saying is not true. The reality is when we arrived at the SABC it was bankrupt, now they are saying the SABC is bankrupt because of Hlaudi,” he said, shaking with anger.
But the former SABC chief operating officer’s woes are far from over. After failing to reach an agreement with the broadcaster at the CCMA on Tuesday, it emerged that the SABC interim board had instituted legal proceedings to recoup the millions of rand it lost during his disastrous tenure. The case was now headed for arbitration.
Without mentioning anyone by name, Motsoeneng said: “They are talking about monopoly. But I’m going to talk big English. All these companies do not want black emerging companies to enter the space.
“I said to the (SABC) board in my time there, we took a resolution to say all these monopolies and big companies should contribute 1% to (finance the education of) black students.
“We said we won’t do business with you if you don’t contribute to the young people of South Africa.”
To loud applause, he continued: “In my time (at the SABC), I was paying workers very well, living wages, even cleaners… those are our mothers and fathers.
“I said to the SABC, these people should earn their own corporations so that as the SABC we give them tenders.”
He said he was proud of the consequences of his decisions and that he was unapologetic.
Motsoeneng, who has been criticised for running the SABC into the ground, also talked about the state of affairs in the country, saying calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down were opportunistic.
“If the president goes, everyone is going go. Let us allow the elections to go on, so that the president can go. If you are saying the president is failing, all of you (ANC MPs) should leave… It’s opportunistic what is happening in South Africa.”
ANC MPs Dr Makhosi Khoza and Mondli Gungubele have been outspoken in their calls for Zuma to step down, saying they would vote with their conscience when the motion of no confidence comes before the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Motsoeneng seemed to throw his weight behind ANC presidential hopeful Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, saying: “The ANC is saying we support women (and) we want to empower them, but why do you contest women if you want to empower them?”