What is happening at the SABC is a case study of President Jacob Zuma’s “project of state capture”, a tangible example of what happens when institutions of state are captured by political appointees for political purposes at the expense of the public, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said.

“In Hlaudi Motsoeneng we have an individual who has been found by the public protector, the High Court, and the Supreme Court of Appeal to be dishonest, unfit for purpose, and unlawfully appointed to the position of SABC COO,” he told journalists in Cape Town after the DA’s federal executive (FedEx) two-day meeting.

“Yet in spite of this, Hlaudi Motsoeneng runs the SABC like his own personal fiefdom. And the minister of communications gives him her nod of approval.”

Moreover, under his watch the SABC had suffered a net loss of R805 million over the past two years. The DA would not rest until Motsoeneng was stripped of his position and a start could be made to rebuild a public broadcaster that honoured the constitutional imperatives on which it was founded by operating in the public interest.

“As the DA, we will not relent in our charge to have Hlaudi removed. In light of Cabinet’s announcement this week calling for Hlaudi Motsoeneng to respect the court judgment against him and step down from his new position at the SABC, the board cannot put off this decision any longer,” Maimane said.

The DA was in the process of consulting its legal counsel to determine whether or not Motsoeneng’s new appointment as SABC group executive of corporate affairs was irregular, unlawful, and irrational.

“The DA is mindful that it isn’t ideal to approach the courts but when all alternative relief is met with unwillingness we are left with no choice but to approach our judiciary to stave off the rank state capture currently underway at the behest of President Zuma,” he said.