Hlaudi Motsoeneng. (Picture: City Press)
Cape Town – Former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has congratulated Mzwanele Manyi on his acquisition of broadcaster ANN7 and The New Age newspaper from the Guptas.
The deal, which is worth R450m, was done via vendor financing, meaning Manyi was given a loan from the Guptas to buy the firms and will have to pay them back with interest over time. It still requires regulatory approval.
“I think it is good to have local people occupying the space,” Motsoeneng told Fin24 on Monday. “It is good for Jimmy (Manyi’s nickname) and I wish him very well.
“I still believe that media needs to be changed as there is too much negativity in the media,” he said. “It is destroying the nation. I think it should change in South Africa.
“Jimmy is like me, he’s a transformation man. He understands what we need to do in the media space. He stands for what he believes. We need people who are radical in South Africa.”
After Twitter users joked that Motsoeneng should be offered a job at ANN7, he told Fin24 that he doesn’t want to be hired by anyone, as he is focusing on his battle with the SABC.
“I don’t want to be hired by ANN7,” he said. “I have battles with SABC. That is the battle that I am focusing on. I am not a quitter – I am a fighter.”
Motsoeneng has a Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) hearing and two court cases to prepare for, he said. “I want to subpoena all the board members who charged me to give oral evidence at the CCMA hearing,” he said.
Motsoeneng failed to appear in the Labour Court in Johannesburg last Tuesday to answer why he should not be held personally liable for the wrongful dismissal of the SABC8 journalists. The matter was postponed to September 6.
In addition, the SABC instituted legal proceedings to recover money from Motsoeneng and former CEO James Aguma. This is linked to the losses incurred after Motsoeneng changed the SABC’s policy to broadcast 90% local content.
Motsoeneng said he has been offered jobs by “many people and companies” all over Africa, and said he has been approached by African National Congress members to become a national executive committee member at the December elective conference.
“I have got my future in my hands,” he said. “I will decide my own future. I am so glad that so many people have interest in me.”
Motsoeneng was removed as chief operating officer after the Supreme Court of Appeal in September last year rejected his bid to appeal the Western Cape High Court’s November 2015 ruling, declaring his appointment irrational and setting it aside.
In June, the SABC announced Motsoeneng’s dismissal after he was found guilty by an internal disciplinary hearing investigating charges of bringing the SABC into disrepute and causing irreparable damage to his employer.
The internal disciplinary committee found that he lied about his qualifications, that he purged the SABC of staff and promoted people and raised salaries without following the correct procedures.
Twitter responds to Manyi's takeover of ANN7:
SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE UPDATE: Get Fin24's top morning business news and opinions in your inbox.
Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter: