JOHANNESBURG- The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) spent more than R22 million paying for the legal costs of its former COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng it has been revealed.
Former Communications Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane revealed in a parliamentary reply that this amount was spent on Motsoeneng’s legal fees since 2013.
DA Communications spokesperson, Phumzile Van Damme said that the fees “might increase as other matters are ongoing.”
Van Damme on Thursday said that the former COO should be held liable for the millions of rands spent on his cases during his tenure at the public broadcaster.
“Hlaudi left a trail of destruction in his wake. He flouted policy processes; demoralised, victimised and purged staff; brought the SABC’s newsroom into disrepute and left the public broadcaster on the brink of collapse. The DA calls on the SABC to personally hold Hlaudi responsible for this excessive amount of money, that can be much better spent on paying off its debts, investing in content development, finding new talent, informing and educating the public, and restoring the SABC’s image as a credible and reliable news source,” she said.
Some of the legal fees were spent on the dismissal of former senior reporter Vuyo Mvoko and other court battles with the DA. Mvoko took the SABC to court after being sacked with seven other reporters.
Last year, the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) said that it needed to recoup millions of rands from the former COO including R11million which he received as a bonus for the MultiChoice archives deal.
The SABC sacked Motsoeneng for bringing the broadcaster into disrepute in 2017.
in 2016, the Western Cape high court ruled that Motsoeneng may not hold any executive position at the broadcaster until a disciplinary hearing had taken place as the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report ordered.
Courts found that his appointment as the SABC’s group executive of corporate affairs to be unlawful and irrational.