Johannesburg – Former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng on Tuesday refused to apologise for having close links with the controversial Gupta family.
Testifying at the commission of inquiry probing state capture on the demise at the SABC, Motsoeneng said his plan had been to “capture” the family, but gave no further explanations as to what he meant by this.
He also admitted to meeting the Guptas, and threw in a humorous comment saying their (Guptas’) curry was delicious.
Giving further testimony, Motsoeneng maintained that his former boss, SABC chief executive Lulama Mokhobo, had been dishonest in her testimony last week when she claimed that she was unaware that when she visited the Saxonwold compound, it belonged to the family.
“She knew where we were going,” Motsoeneng said.
Motsoeneng, who worked at the SABC as a journalist and a producer before assuming a senior position, has since established his own political party, the African Content Movement, after he was axed from the public broadcaster.
He again used the commission to deny any responsibility for the collapse of the broadcaster, saying those who had hired him two decades ago and later as chief operating officer were well aware that didn’t have a matric certificate.
“I was headhunted,” Motsoeneng maintained.
He said that it was an insult for people to say he lied about passing matric.
The former executive said he was approached by another colleague at the broadcaster by the name of Alvin Kloppers, who was in charge of current affairs and news.
He maintained that he had declared from the onset that he did not have his matric, but the SABC put him on a course to learn about broadcasting.
Motsoeneng also said he was among the first people in the history of the broadcaster to be put on such a course as it did not put freelancers on the course.
Motsoeneng also claimed he went to Pretoria with current SABC foreign editor Sophie Mokoena to check his matric symbols, and further denied that he had been offered the operations officer job despite being unqualified as, in his view, he was very educated and capable, and had the required skills to do the job.
He is set to return to the commission on Wednesday to give further evidence.
Meanwhile, the SABC on Tuesday admitted that the wrong clip for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation, aired last week Thursday, had been an act of sabotage.
In the clip, Ramaphosa is seen speaking briefly and then asking to run his line again. According to the broadcaster, the correct clip was sent to Parliament.
In a statement, the SABC said it now had “strong prima facie evidence” that indicated that the action had been well co-ordinated.
It further said all three permanent employees involved in the saga had been suspended, and that one freelancer had been suspended until all due processes had been followed.