Friday, 17 December 2021

Johannesburg: Former SABC Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been ordered to pay back at least R11.5 million “success fee” paid to him by the broadcaster’s Governance and Nominations Committee in 2016.

The decision to pay Motsoeneng the fee was reviewed and set aside by the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court sitting in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

In the judgement, the court found that Motsoeneng had accepted the fee knowing that no South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) policies allowed for such.

“Motsoeneng was not an innocent bystander in all of this, he set out to obtain a benefit that he was not entitled to, knowing full well that his employment contract did not allow for bonuses. The only reasonable inference to be drawn is that he received payment of the success fee in circumstances he knew, or ought to have known, that he was not entitled to, this was unlawful,” the judgement read.

Motsoeneng has also been ordered to pay back the money within the next seven days.

The order was granted to the SABC and the Special Investigating Unit following an investigation by the corruption-busting unit into allegations of corruption, maladministration, malpractice and payments made by the SABC together with the conducts of its employees.

SIU head Advocate Andy Mothibi said the decision is a step in ensuring that monies unlawfully gained from public coffers is returned.

“This is a continuation of implementation of the SIU investigations outcomes and consequence management to recover monies lost by the SABC. There are other cases enrolled in the High Court and in the Special Tribunal awaiting adjudication and will result in further recoveries for the SABC,” Mothibi said.

The broadcaster’s Group Chief Executive Officer Madoda Mxakwe also welcomed the judgement.

“‘This judgment bears testimony to the SABC’s commitment to addressing corporate governance failures of the past, whilst ensuring monies due to the Corporation are recovered. We are confident that this judgment demonstrates progress in the SABC’s turnaround journey.” said Mxakwe.