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Pressure continues to mount on the government to fire the entire SABC board for its insistence on retaining its controversial boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

On Wednesday, protests carried out in Joburg and Cape Town for Motsoeneng and the board to be axed, following the SABC’s decision to reappoint him to his previous position as group executive of corporate affairs. He replaced Bessie Tugwana, who will now take care of special projects in the chief executive’s office.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said the SABC board would face the axe after an inquiry into its fitness to hold office. A fuming Mthembu said despite all the problems of the SABC, the last straw was hiring Motsoeneng in a different senior position, which was against court judgments.

 “The appointment of the corporation’s former chief operating officer, whose previous appointment was also set aside by the courts, to another senior executive position is without a doubt the last straw that broke the camel’s back,” he said.

Constitutional law expert Professor Pierre de Vos told The Star that the ANC could use its majority in Parliament to dissolve the SABC board and effectively fire Motsoeneng.

De Vos said it had become clear that the board was either completely in dereliction of duty or was endorsing unlawfulness by protecting and appointing Motsoeneng to his old job.

“If they don’t then that would mean they agree with what’s happening at the SABC,” he said.

 

 

On Wednesday in Joburg, the Right2Know Campaign marched to the FNB and SABMiller headquarters in Joburg, demanding they stop advertising on the public broadcaster’s platform until good corporate governance was restored.

R2K’s Micah Reddy said that the SABMiller and FNB ad spend on the broadcaster amounted to about R400m and R120m a year, respectively. That is R240m combined.

“Over time we will be targeting other corporations doing business with the SABC, but for now we are focusing on FNB and SAB.”

They wanted Motsoeneng not to serve the public broadcaster in any capacity.

The NGO threatened to call on the masses to boycott the companies’ products if it failed to heed their call on the SABC. The companies would study the memorandum before responding.

SOS Coalition national co-ordinator Sekoetlane Phamodi said they backed the R2K’s calls, adding they were running out of options as the SABC continued to undermine statutory bodies and the courts.

A group of protesters also marched to the Chamber of Commerce in Cape Town.