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SABC board to impose legal action against Mtsotsoeneng

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) interim board says it will lay criminal charges against Former SABC CEO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, saying the millions he earned illegally will also be recovered.

Former Chief Executive Officer of the South African Broadcasting Corporation Mr. Hlaudi Motsoeneng

The SABC interim board has handed the case over to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to speed up the process which will allow them to lay criminal charges against the fired SABC boss according to the Times.

Khanyisile Kweyama chairman of the interim board says the public broadcaster will wait for the outcome of the probe and criminal charges will be laid against Mr. Motsoeneng.

“We have handed over Mr Motsoeneng’s matter to the SIU to fast-track the investigation so that we can lay criminal charges and … recover money if the end of the investigation is that there are recoveries to be made,” Kweyama said.

According to SA Breaking News Kweyama, the board was focused on bringing the matter to a conclusion before its term expires in September. The interim board was appointed by President Jacob Zuma in March this year.

This comes after Motsoeneng ruined a contract with Multichoice without approval by the board. It is understood that the transaction approved satellite TV service provider access to the SABC’s archive for five years.

The deal was worth R533 million, with Motsoeneng reportedly given a bonus of R33 million to be paid over three years. In 2016, he received the first portion of the payment, which amounted to R11.4 million.

It is alleged that the board also want compensation in the controversial 90% local content he implemented to the public broadcaster and the SABC Thank You concert which was celebrated without the approval of the board.

The concert, called the “SABC Thank You” concert held in Orlando, gave the impression that the artists performing were paying for the show, but instead Motsoeneng reportedly paid musicians R50 000 each, amounting to about R9 million. This payment was also done without the authorisation of the board.

“Besides the R11.4-million bonus, he could also be asked to repay funds he made available to the ‘SABC Thank You’ concert held in Orlando, at which an impression was created that the artists were paying for the show,” another source said who declined to be identified out of fear of victimization.

“In fact, Motsoeneng arranged the payment from the SABC and he also – without approval from anyone paid musicians R50,000 each, which amounted to about R9-million in total, from SABC funds,” the source said.

The 90% local-content policy proved to be problematic for the public broadcaster, with the board recently telling parliament that the policy had caused the SABC significant losses, with flagship radio stations Metro FM, 5FM and Goodhope FM, as well as television channel SABC 3 suffering a decline in audiences and revenue.

Motsoeneng was fired from the SABC on June 12 after being found guilty of misconduct for criticizing SABC board members and a parliamentary committee investigating irregularities at the SABC at a media briefing he held.

At the time, he had been serving a suspension following findings by the public protector that he had misrepresented his qualifications.

Motsoeneng has approached the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to overturn his dismissal.

“I don’t want to get involved in those things, mshana. I am busy and I don’t want to talk about those issues. You must just wait and see. I don’t want to respond to the wind,” Motsoeneng response to requests for comment.