Johannesburg - Former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has slammed a bid by the Special Investigating Unit to recover more than R21.7 million from him for illegal appointments and dismissals at the public broadcaster.
The SIU team appeared before Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications on Tuesday, where it briefed the committee on the interim presidential investigation into the cash-strapped SABC.
Motsoeneng, however, said in regard to the success fees, he did not pay himself and saw nothing irregular with appointments, saying that the custodian of appointments and salary increments at SABC was the human resources department.
“I see this grandstanding in Parliament, and in any case I am very disappointed by the SIU. It seems as if, in my personal view, now they are playing politics. The information that they’re giving there is worrisome.
“These people portray us as if we have committed fraud at SABC. I can tell you, in my era (at) the SABC, especially where I was involved, there was no fraud and corruption. I don’t want to deal with specific matters that are in court. But if you want to check, their heads of arguments will show that the SIU does not have a case,” Motsoeneng said.
SIU head advocate Jan Lekhoa Mothibi said: “The SIU and SABC jointly issued summons on February 5, 2018, in the High Court in Johannesburg against Mr Motsoeneng for a civil case aimed at the recovery of R11508549.12 in terms of the success fee that was paid.
“We also intend to recover R10235453.20 for the irregular appointments and salary increments, suspensions and unlawful terminations of employment,” said Mothibi.
“The SIU also confirmed the Public Protector’s findings that the appointments of SABC staff or salary increases were irregular. This includes those of Ms Sully Motsweni, Ms Thobekile Khumalo and Ms Guga Duda,” said Mothibi.
He said they had also uncovered court-ready evidence which implicated six SABC executives and eight officials.
The SIU presented a report on its phase 1 investigation into the SABC, in terms of the presidential proclamation, which focused on a variety of issues, including the irregular awarding of contracts, maladministration and irregular appointments and salary increases.
Mothibi told Parliament that Former SABC board members and top executives were now in the SIU’s sights for allegedly failing to act in the best interests of the public broadcaster.