Former SABC Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng spent his second day at the State Capture Inquiry defending his action during his tenure. The commission’s evidence leader continued to probe the logic behind his decision to ban violent protests in news bulletins. He says that decision was informed by law.
Motsoeneng denied persecuting journalists those who did not toe-the-line when he was in charge.
He discredited evidence given by some of the SABC 8 journalists – saying they contravened SABC policy by venting their frustration to other media organisations. Responding to questions about a meeting he had with the editors where he’s alleged to have threatened their jobs, Motsoeneng says he was not going to work with people who were against his vision.
He, however, conceded it was wrong to project the banning of the protest visuals as the public broadcaster’s policy. Motsoeneng told the commission that disciplinary action against certain journalists was never about internal conflict – but contravention of SABC policy.
On the suspension the SABC 8, the former COO said he never made the call. He says the decision of the head of news at the time.
“He came to me and said Chief there is blood on the floor, he said these people are defying me, and I said to him you know how I operate if you know people are not following the policy, you can’t come to me take action.”
The Former SABC COO admitted to giving instruction for more coverage for former President Jacob Zuma. He says there was nothing wrong with giving Zuma more airtime as the President of the country.
Hlaudi Motsoeneng is expected to return to the witness stand on Thursday when the commission resumes.