CAPE TOWN - The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has confirmed on Tuesday that it has issued summons against the former South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chief operations officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng for more than R21m owed to the public broadcaster, according to reports.
The Democratic Alliance member of parliament and shadow minister for communications, Phumzile Van Damme said in a statement, "Today in Parliament’s Communications Committee, the SIU confirmed that the R21 million includes an R11.4 million "success fee" Motsoeneng received for the so-called MultiChoice "archives deal" and an additional R10.5 million in damages related to the irregular appointment and dismissal of staff".
The SIU was briefing the Portfolio Committee on Communications which is chaired by Humphrey Maxegwana.
In August 2017, president Jacob Zuma signed a proclamation which gave the SIU a go ahead on investigating the questionable contracts at the state broadcaster.
"The DA further notes that the SIU is currently investigating 8 of the contracts identified as dodgy during the SABC Ad Hoc Inquiry. This also includes the questionable R460 million contract with Multichoice," the DA statement read.
The SIU plans to handover the interim presidential report on their investigations into these contracts to the office of the president on May 31, 2018.
Van Damme further said, "It cannot be that individuals like Motsoeneng loot public institutions, resign or are dismissed and there is no further action. All stolen money must be returned to the public purse. We, therefore, welcome the SIU’s action in this regard".
The implementer of the '90% local music content quota' was dismissed by the SABC after an internal disciplinary hearing which was headed by Advocate Nazeer Cassim found him guilty of misconduct and breaking terms of his employment contract.
Motsoeneng has told Eyewitness News that he can't comment on this matter as it has been referred to his lawyer. Motsoeneng plans to defend SIU claims in court.
During his tunure at the SABC, Motsoeneng's qualifications and his appointment to the position of the COO caused much controversy.
The state broadcaster unveiled its new COO Chris Maroleng in January 2018. His appointment was welcomed by the parliament's portfolio committee on communications.
"The Committee is confident that the SABC Board has selected the most suitable candidate for this position and trusts that the Board has exhausted all legal processes in the appointment. Looking at Mr Maroleng’s experience, expertise and qualifications, the Chairperson has full confidence that he will bring stability and lead the previously-embattled SABC on the growth trajectory that is urgently required" a statement issued on behalf of the committee read.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE