Now Hlaudi turns to Labour Court to stop hearing - Times LIVE
Tue May 23 07:06:27 SAST 2017

Now Hlaudi turns to Labour Court to stop hearing

NEO GOBA | 2017-05-19 06:17:51.0
Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, with his lawyer Zola Majavu, appeared before a disciplinary hearing on comments he made at a media briefing in Sandton.
Image by: ALON SKUY/ THE TIMES

Former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng plans to approach the Labour Court to get his disciplinary hearing stopped.

The hearing, due to have begun on Wednesday, was stalled when Motsoeneng argued there was an ulterior motive behind it.

He is charged with misconduct after a press conference at which he criticised the SABC's decision to scrap the 90% local music policy that Motsoeneng spearheaded.

In the media conference, he took a swipe at interim board member Krish Naidoo, whom he accused of "selling out".

Yesterday, Motsoeneng's legal team argued that the issue should rather be heard by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) because comments he made should be considered protected public disclosure.

Protected public disclosure is usually used as a defence when employees say they were wrongfully charged or dismissed for exposing corruption.

Disciplinary hearing chairman Nazeem Cassim dismissed the argument and Motsoeneng's legal team then said they had received instructions "to approach the Labour Court to seek to stop these proceedings".

"At this stage, we ask if you would be willing to allow us time to approach the court before you proceed," Advocate Andy Bester, for Motsoeneng, asked Cassim.

The SABC's legal representative, Advocate Anton Myburgh, argued against the postponement, saying Motsoeneng knowingly breached the SABC code of conduct.

"What Mr Motsoeneng did amounts to gross insubordination. He knows the rules of the SABC do not allow employees to slag off your employer in the press.

"This is the board of directors [he insulted] and it is extraordinary misconduct. You cannot publicly accuse a director of dishonesty."

Cassim granted Motsoeneng a postponement until 6pm on May 24 to approach the Labour Court.

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