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Judgment reserved in SABC’s bid to recover R2.4m paid to music legends

The SABC is trying to recover over R2.4 million paid to 50 music legends. Picture: Karen Sandison-African News Agency (ANA)

The SABC is trying to recover over R2.4 million paid to 50 music legends. Picture: Karen Sandison-African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 15, 2022

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The Special Tribunal on Monday reserved judgment in the SABC’s bid to overturn its former executives’ decision to pay over R2.4 million to music legends.

The public broadcaster’s controversial former chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng approved the payment of R50 000 to 50 music legends, which totalled R2 425 000.

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William “Mr Everything” Mthethwa represented the non-profit company SA Music Legends which is fighting the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU’s) attempt to reverse the decision.

The SABC wants the ten current and former SABC executives to repay the money.

Erstwhile acting chief financial officer Audrey Raphela’s lawyer Gideon Mamabolo argued that Motsoeneng knowingly misled his colleagues to process the payments.

The executives claim that SABC’s lawsuit has prescribed, as the Companies Act states, that it should be lodged within three years.

They also told the tribunal that the SABC unduly delayed in lodging its claim against them.

Mamabolo said the SABC could not claim from a former or current director if it happened more than three years ago.

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In papers before the tribunal, the SABC said the gratuitous payments were made out of funds Motsoeneng raised from a lucrative deal with MultiChoice.

At the time, the SABC claimed the decision was consistent with the Broadcasting Act, its policies and that the payments were within the executives’ delegated authority.

The Special Tribunal has previously heard that Mthethwa has no personal knowledge of the claims made despite his deposition on it before.

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It also ruled that he has personal knowledge of the facts deposed in his affidavit and did not advance any reason whether there is any basis to, nonetheless, be admitted in the matter.

The legends argued that they would be morally and physically bound to refund the SABC and that this would be unfair, unjust and against the common good that the money that was paid to them be the burden of the current and former SABC executives.

Judge Lebogang Modiba reserved judgment.

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