Financial mismanagement and maladministration, the wilful purging of staff members and an admission by SABC acting chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng that he did not have a matric certificate are some of the stark findings made by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela into the public broadcaster’s affairs.
On Monday Madonsela released the report into the SABC, titled “When governance and ethics fail”, which shows how Motsoeneng ruled the broadcaster with an iron fist and purged employees who stood in his way or testified against him at a disciplinary hearing.
Motsoeneng also increased his salary three times in one fiscal year, moving his salary from R1.4 million to R2.4m, a 63 percent increase. He also hiked the salaries of other senior employees without following proper procedure and in the process bulged the SABC salary bill to R29m.
“He unilaterally increased the salaries of Ms Sully Motsweni, Ms Thobekile Khumalo, Mr Hannes du Buisson and certain freelancers without following parts of the SABC personnel regulations,” Madonsela said.
She could not say how much money was wasted as a result of the salary increments and payouts to purged former employees.
The public protector’s office started investigating issues at the SABC in November 2011 after former senior executive Phumelele Ntombela-Nzimande requested an investigation into financial mismanagement, among other issues. More complaints came from other senior SABC employees, who claimed Motsoeneng was appointed without having proper qualifications.
In his application for the COO post, Motsoeneng claimed that he had matriculated at Metsimantsho High School in QwaQwa, Free State, when he was 23.
“Mr Motsoeneng would have never been appointed in 1995 had he not lied about his qualification and… he repeated that lie in 2003 when he applied for the post of executive producer: current affairs…”
The report also found that former SABC chairman Dr Ben Ngubane acted irregularly when he ordered that qualification requirements for the appointment for the COO position be altered to remove certain qualifications – tailor-making it for Motsoeneng.
But Motsoeneng isn’t the only person who was painted in a dim light by the report. Disgraced former communications minister Dina Pule and her lover Phosane Mngqibisa were found to have interfered in the appointment of chief financial officer Gugu Duda.
Duda is currently suspended for procurement-related irregularities.