Hlaudi Motsoeneng has said he’s not as close to former President Jacob Zuma as many people think.
He clarified his relationship with Zuma during his testimony at the state capture inquiry on Wednesday.
I know Zuma, but he is not my friend. I’m not close to him like people say I’m close to Zuma. I know him.Hlaudi Motsoeneng
Motsoeneng controversially served as chief operating officer (COO) at South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
He said he only sought to uphold respect for Zuma at SABC and in the media space generally.
There were times where media and SABC generally were calling him names on live programmes. I said to them, ‘Whether you like Zuma or you don’t like him, he’s the president of the country.’Hlaudi Motsoeneng
Motsoeneng has often shown support for Zuma during the latter’s court or state capture inquiry appearances.
He joined other Zuma supporters when the ex-president testified at the inquiry in July.
In March, Bosasa’s ex-tax consultant Peet Venter testified at the inquiry how the company paid Motsoeneng’s R1.1m legal bill.
A Sunday Times report in September 2018 claimed that Zuma requested Bosasa’s ex-CEO, the late Gavin Watson, to foot Motsoeneng’s bill.
Zuma made this request through former South African Airways chairperson Dudu Myeni, according to the report.
Motsoeneng had engaged in a lengthy legal battle with SABC over his position as COO.