DA MP Phumzile van Damme. File photo: Twitter

Parliament - The Democratic Alliance on Tuesday said it had been informed by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) that it could not afford to settle the full R1.7 million in legal fees it owes the party.

The SABC spent more than R22 million defending controversial former chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. The R1.7 million it owes to the DA relates to a costs order against the SABC when it defended him in a high court case brought by the party, which led to Motsoeneng's appointment being declared invalid.

"The fact that the SABC is unable to pay its bills and its outstanding legal fees is a clear indication that the public broadcaster is on the verge of insolvency," said DA member of Parliament (MP) Phumzile van Damme.

"In the public interest, the DA will consider a payment plan for the SABC to pay back the money owed and has invited the SABC to come with a suitable proposal."

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago was not immediately available for comment.

African News Agency/ANA