HOW THE SABC GOT wrecked

AS BUSI­NESS RES­CUE WARN­ING IS SERVED, STAR­TLING DOC­U­MENTS CLAIM HUN­DREDS OF MIL­LIONS IN IR­REG­U­LAR SPEND

CityPress - - Front Page - CHARL BLIGNAUT, DEWALD VAN RENS­BURG and ABRAM MASHEGO [email protected]­press.co.za

The fi­nan­cially dec­i­mated pub­lic broad­caster, SABC, has 20 busi­ness days to re­spond to a no­tice from the Com­pa­nies and In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Com­mis­sion (CIPC), ask­ing it to ex­plain why it be­lieves it is not trad­ing reck­lessly un­der in­sol­vent cir­cum­stances. The SABC’s li­a­bil­i­ties ex­ceed its as­sets by R1.8 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the no­tice, which was served last Thurs­day, “and as a re­sult, the SABC is not able to set­tle its short-term obli­ga­tions”.

TV pro­duc­tion houses es­ti­mate that only half of them were paid for De­cem­ber, and the SA Screen Fed­er­a­tion says pro­duc­ers and their teams are fac­ing a bleak new year as they are in­creas­ingly be­ing ex­pected to de­liver shows that have not been paid for.

Even worse, say in­sid­ers, the SABC – which has had to write to Joburg mayor Her­man Mashaba to help it keep the lights on – can­not af­ford new shows, and its ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enue will con­tinue to slide.

The broad­caster is said to re­quire R600 mil­lion a month to op­er­ate, but is ap­par­ently gen­er­at­ing about R380 mil­lion in in­come.

How­ever, there is some light at the end of the tun­nel. Yes­ter­day a spokesper­son for Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Stella Nd­abeni-Abrahams told City Press help is on its way: “The depart­ment of com­mu­ni­ca­tions is cur­rently work­ing with Na­tional Trea­sury in an ef­fort to re­solve this mat­ter through a gov­ern­ment guar­an­tee. The depart­ment in­tends to sub­mit the gov­ern­ment guar­an­tee ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore the end of Jan­uary 2019.”

For now, though, un­der chief ex­ec­u­tive Madoda Mx­akwe, the SABC is also wad­ing through a re­lent­less and ex­pen­sive course of lit­i­ga­tion and labour ac­tion as a re­sult of the ex­ec­u­tive’s re­solve to clean up the coun­try’s fur­thest-reach­ing me­dia op­er­a­tion ahead of next year’s elec­tions.

Mx­akwe and the SABC board, re­duced to an in­quo­rate four mem­bers fol­low­ing a spate of res­ig­na­tions – some of them be­lieved to be po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated – have been work­ing through an on­go­ing stream of in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­ports all year. This, in an at­tempt to re­claim funds and mea­sure the ef­fect of the five-year reign – end­ing in 2017 – of for­mer chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng and for­mer chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer James Aguma.

City Press has ob­tained thou­sands of pages of in­ter­nal au­dit re­ports, min­utes, con­tracts and emails that be­gin to re­veal the scale and ex­tent of the dam­age.

The doc­u­ments in­formed the work of the Spe­cial In­ves­ti­gat­ing Unit (SIU), which is in its first phase of tak­ing civil claims to court in­volv­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions of rands in ir­reg­u­lar con­tracts, pro­mo­tions and salary in­creases.

Mot­soe­neng, who has had his pen­sion with­held and face civil ac­tion, this week flatly de­nied that the SIU claims had any truth to them, adding that that if he won his case, he would sue the SABC. Aguma, who’s pen­sion was also frozen, jus­ti­fied the de­ci­sions he made which form the ba­sis of the SIU claims.

The doc­u­ments re­veal star­tling de­tails of con­tracts not put out to ten­der, Gupta-linked ac­tiv­ity, the dish­ing out of SABC data­bases and strat­egy doc­u­ments to hand-picked con­trac­tors, and fla­grant spend­ing on van­ity projects.

But the CIPC has the power to shut down the SABC, or cred­i­tors could go to court to force it into busi­ness res­cue, with the board stripped of its pow­ers.

SABC spokesper­son Neo Mo­modu said: “The SABC is cur­rently pre­par­ing a re­sponse, as re­quested. The cor­po­ra­tion has kept the min­is­ter of com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­formed and will be co­op­er­at­ing fully with the CIPC dur­ing this process.”

The broad­caster will be re­ly­ing heav­ily on the min­is­ter’s lat­est state­ment. It is be­lieved to be un­able to pay salaries come March and is likely to tell the CIPC that it is trad­ing with the un­der­stand­ing that Trea­sury will pro­vide a bank guar­an­tee for a loan to fi­nance its turn­around strat­egy.

The board has had a rocky re­la­tion­ship with the min­is­ter. In a re­cent let­ter to Nd­abeni-Abrahams, its mem­bers re­fer to two ear­lier let­ters – writ­ten in Sep­tem­ber and Oc­to­ber – re­quest­ing “ur­gent in­ter­ven­tion with re­spect to the gov­ern­ment guar­an­tee ap­pli­ca­tion” and high­light­ing “the risks fac­ing the cor­po­ra­tion and its di­rec­tors … in­clud­ing the SABC’s in­sol­vency, com­pli­ance with the Com­pa­nies Act by di­rec­tors and the po­ten­tial liq­ui­da­tion of the SABC – and no for­mal re­sponse has yet been re­ceived”.

This week, CIPC spokesper­son Tshi­amo Zebe­diela told City Press that the com­mis­sion was not act­ing on a com­plaint, but that the no­tice was “a proac­tive in­quiry, which was trig­gered by our ex­er­cise of the over­sight and mon­i­tor­ing func­tions as a com­mis­sion”.

She added: “Some form of a turn­around strat­egy – in the form of an ac­tion plan – which can in­clude a gov­ern­ment guar­an­tee may be suf­fi­cient for the no­tice to be with­drawn.”

The R366m worth of civil claims from the Hlaudi era in­clude R27m spent on a van­ity con­cert, Gupta links in a TV li­cence deal, con­tracts awarded with­out ten­der, ir­reg­u­lar ap­point­ments, bonuses, salary in­creases and R5m paid for work on the SABC lifts that was ap­par­ently not done. And that’s just phase one, re­port Charl Blignaut, Dewald van Rens­burg and Abram Mashego

City Press has ob­tained a trove of doc­u­ments de­tail­ing the ev­i­dence gath­ered dur­ing the SABC’s in­ter­nal au­dit in­ves­ti­ga­tions – ini­ti­ated by the 2017 in­terim and per­ma­nent boards – that are now find­ing their way into the courts.

The in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions fed into the work of the Spe­cial In­ves­ti­gat­ing Unit (SIU), which has been act­ing on a 2017 pres­i­den­tial procla­ma­tion to un­cover the rot at the broad­caster since 2011, un­der the watch of for­mer chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng and his right-hand man, for­mer chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer James Aguma.

Mot­soe­neng has ve­he­mently de­nied the claims, call­ing them “po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated non­sense”, and has dis­missed the SIU’s ac­tions as lack­ing in depth and in­tegrity. Aguma has re­sponded to de­tailed claims, jus­ti­fy­ing his ac­tions and deny­ing wrong­do­ing.

SIU and ‘the ghost of Hlaudi’

The SIU has so far in­ves­ti­gated 18 his­tor­i­cal mat­ters. Some, like the case against Mot­soe­neng, have been in court since Feb­ru­ary but have been re­peat­edly de­layed by tech­ni­cal chal­lenges.

Next year will be a busy one for those ac­cused of con­tract and pay­ment ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties, which the SIU has so far iden­ti­fied in the cases of: Lor­nav­i­sion (Pty) Ltd and Lezaf Con­sult­ing CC, Gekkonomix (Pty) Ltd (trad­ing as In­fonomix), Sekela Xabiso CA In­cor­po­rated, Asante Sana (Pty) Ltd, Mott Mac­Don­ald (Pty) Ltd, Vi­sion View Pro­duc­tions CC and Fox­ton Com­mu­ni­cat­ing (Pty) Ltd.

There have so far been eight civil lit­i­ga­tions, six crim­i­nal re­fer­rals and 23 dis­ci­plinary re­fer­rals em­a­nat­ing from the SIU, in­clud­ing Mot­soe­neng’s R11.5 mil­lion “suc­cess fee” for the con­tro­ver­sial Mul­tiChoice/SABC deal and fur­ther claims orig­i­nally raised by then pub­lic pro­tec­tor Thuli Madonsela.

But this is nowhere near the full pic­ture. Im­pec­ca­ble sources at the em­bat­tled pub­lic broad­caster have con­firmed that there have been over 100 dis­ci­plinary hear­ings and that 30 so-called “Hlaudi en­forcers” have left the or­gan­i­sa­tion – of these, 20 were fired and there were 10 whose con­tracts came to an end or who re­signed.

As more in­ter­nal re­ports con­tinue to reach the desks of the ex­ec­u­tive, the full ex­tent of the rot at the SABC’s ra­dio sta­tions and provin­cial op­er­a­tions is only now be­gin­ning to be­come clear.

It is be­lieved that there are still at least 30 ir­reg­u­lar ap­point­ments to be dealt with, some of them among very se­nior news staff af­ter Mot­soe­neng took charge of the SABC’s ed­i­to­rial line, when he in­tro­duced his 70% “good news” pol­icy.

“The ghost of Hlaudi still haunts the cor­ri­dors,” said an SABC source this week. “There are a lot of staff that still sup­port him and many turned up at the launch of his po­lit­i­cal party [the African Con­tent Move­ment] last week.”

But sources say chief ex­ec­u­tive Madoda Mx­akwe is in­creas­ingly tak­ing a harder line on er­rant and cor­rupt staff – just one of a moun­tain of prob­lems he and his now-in­quo­rate board are fac­ing.

Crit­ics such as the Broad­cast­ing, Elec­tronic Me­dia and Al­lied Work­ers’ Union are, how­ever, ac­cus­ing the new SABC bosses of squan­der­ing money on hir­ing top con­sul­tants to im­ple­ment the clean-up.

Gupta links in TV li­cence scan­dal

Although The New Age break­fasts and the Gupta-owned news­pa­per’s links to the SABC are part of the SIU’s se­cond phase of in­ves­ti­ga­tion, new ev­i­dence ob­tained by City Press sug­gests the Gupta fam­ily had a sub­stan­tial in­ter­est in the con­tro­ver­sial mul­ti­mil­lion-rand Lor­nav­i­sion con­tract, awarded by the SABC with­out a ten­der in 2015.

At the very least, the fam­ily’s fore­most deal­maker, Salim Essa, was be­ing kept in the loop as the deal was pre­pared, doc­u­ments ob­tained by City Press show. The deal was for the cre­ation of a new pay­ment sys­tem for li­cences on a com­mis­sion ba­sis – po­ten­tially worth hun­dreds of mil­lions of rands.

The SIU is cur­rently try­ing to re­cover R62 mil­lion in re­la­tion to the deal, which is what Lor­nav­i­sion ac­tu­ally got paid from July 2015 up to early 2017. The SABC then re­pu­di­ated an­other R19 mil­lion it owed Lor­nav­i­sion by get­ting the Jo­han­nes­burg High Court to set aside the ir­reg­u­larly awarded con­tract last year.

Lor­nav­i­sion has now threat­ened to launch a coun­ter­claim of R500 mil­lion for lost in­come, defama­tion and theft of its in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty, ac­cord­ing to its chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Frans Bas­son.

Bas­son de­nies any links to Essa and claims that the SABC would be in far bet­ter shape to­day if it had em­braced Lor­nav­i­sion’s work.

The new ev­i­dence of Gupta in­volve­ment con­sists of emails at­tached to an in­ter­nal SABC forensic re­port on a re­lated deal with Lezaf Con­sult­ing, which the SIU has also in­ves­ti­gated. The emails show that mem­bers of the Lor­nav­i­sion con­sor­tium were in con­stant con­tact with the SABC’s Aguma lead­ing up to the sign­ing of the deal on July 10 2015.

Copied into some of their emails was none other than Essa, who was sent a copy of the Lor­nav­i­sion pro­posal shortly be­fore it was sent to Aguma.

Futher­more, an em­ployee of an­other com­pany be­long­ing to Bas­son that did work for Lor­nav­i­sion at the time, An­dre du Plessis, said that Essa was pre­sented as the “chair” of Lor­nav­i­sion and the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of its ma­jor­ity share­holder, Ki­mo­mode. Ki­mo­mode, which owned 60% of Lor­nav­i­sion, be­longs to Kuben Mood­ley.

Du Plessis said he “sat in” on two meet­ings be­tween Bas­son, Mood­ley and Essa early in 2015.

Bas­son de­nies ever meet­ing Essa and told City Press he can­not ex­plain why Essa was cc’d into emails. He spec­u­lated that it was pos­si­ble that Ki­mo­mode had some or other deal­ing with Essa, but that he was not privy to it.

Like many other SABC deals in­ves­ti­gated by the SIU, Lor­nav­i­sion’s con­tract was awarded through a de­vi­a­tion in­stead of a com­pet­i­tive bid­ding process. This is only meant to hap­pen in emer­gen­cies or if the sup­plier is the only pos­si­ble sup­plier.

Last year’s court rul­ing lam­basted the use of a de­vi­a­tion for the Lor­nav­i­sion deal, call­ing Aguma’s ac­tions “in­ex­pli­ca­ble”.

Bas­son said there was “noth­ing funny” about get­ting ap­pointed on a de­vi­a­tion and that the only prob­lem with Lor­nav­i­sion’s work at the SABC was that it re­quired SABC staff “to ac­tu­ally do some work”.

“I have done work for the SABC since 1992 and got a lot of work on de­vi­a­tion,” he said.

Bas­son has a law firm that has done work for the SABC for years, send­ing let­ters of de­mand to peo­ple who have not paid for their TV li­cences. Ac­cord­ing to Bas­son, the at­tempt to re­cover R62 mil­lion from Lor­nav­i­sion is ridicu­lous be­cause it is based on his be­ing re­spon­si­ble for how the SABC pro­cures. “Nowhere in any court doc­u­ment or on this sum­mons is there any sug­ges­tion of wrong­do­ing on our part.”

This week, Aguma said: “I hired Lor­nav­i­sion be­cause they of­fered a unique ser­vice which was not avail­able on the mar­ket, and there­fore I did not have to go through the ten­der­ing sys­tem.”

A data­base of 100 000 li­cence hold­ers was pro­vided to Lor­nav­i­sion by Aguma to an­a­lyse in or­der to de­ter­mine the scope of the project, says the forensic re­port.

Hlaudi’s R30 mil­lion ‘van­ity project’

Ac­cord­ing to an SABC forensic re­port, ti­tled Leg­ends and SABC Her­itage Con­cert, R27.7 mil­lion was, in fact, spent by the SABC on the 2016 Thank You SABC con­cert that the broad­caster had in­sisted it was not pay­ing for, but was a gift from mu­si­cians to thank Mot­soe­neng for in­tro­duc­ing a dis­as­trous 90% lo­cal mu­sic quota at SABC ra­dio and to pro­mote the pay­ment of li­cences.

The bulk of the R27 mil­lion was the value of ra­dio and TV ad­verts on blan­ket ro­ta­tion to try to drum up at­ten­dance at the con­cert at the last minute. An­other R10.7 mil­lion was ear­marked to pay “mu­si­cal leg­ends” R50 000 each, even though only R2.45 mil­lion ap­pears to have been paid in the end.

When it comes to the con­cert, the forensic re­port de­tails an as­ton­ish­ing time­line in which the idea for the bash was pitched by mu­si­cian Mzwakhe Mbuli just 10 days be­fore the event was staged.

It was, by all ac­counts, a flop, with top mu­si­cians pulling out and only about 1 000 peo­ple ar­riv­ing at the 40 000-ca­pac­ity Or­lando Sta­dium in Soweto.

Ac­cord­ing to trans­ac­tion records, the SABC di­verted a po­ten­tial R5.3 mil­lion from var­i­ous di­vi­sions to help pay for the con­cert.

It paid at least R2 mil­lion to spon­sor the con­cert, later buy­ing an­other R600 000 in tick­ets, pay­ing R800 000 in artists’ fees, and help­ing to stock up the VIP bar with R11 000 worth of booze.

Mot­soe­neng con­tin­ues to in­sist that he did noth­ing wrong and is proud of his 90% achieve­ments, in­clud­ing the con­cert, which he has al­ways hailed as a suc­cess.

This week, Mbuli told of how the bash had re­sulted in his Phumelela En­ter­tain­ment be­ing liq­ui­dated in court by debtors – no­tably, the sta­dium’s man­age­ment – who were never paid for their work. One of the con­cert pro­duc­ers told City Press this week that the pro­duc­tion team was still ap­peal­ing to the SABC for pay­ment that never hap­pened.

Mbuli said: “The plan­ning pe­riod was too short.”

He added that when a ma­jor po­ten­tial spon­sor fell through, “I pro­posed post­pone­ment”. But SABC min­utes show that Mot­soe­neng was de­ter­mined to pro­ceed and upped the SABC ad­ver­tis­ing for the ill-fated bash. The au­dit re­port notes that a TV li­cence drive was not in­cluded, as pro­posed, in the con­cert’s pro­mos. Mbuli said he raised it in in­ter­views pro­mot­ing the bash.

An in­sider this week de­scribed the con­cert as “a van­ity project” con­ducted against the odds “to make Hlaudi feel loved”.

Aguma and Mot­soe­neng this week said that both the con­cert and the leg­ends pay­ments were ap­proved by the SABC’s op­er­a­tions com­mit­tee, which they sup­ported. Mot­soe­neng chaired the com­mit­tee, ac­cord­ing to records.

The cu­ri­ous case of the miss­ing web­sites

In an­other case pur­sued by the SIU, a com­pany trad­ing as In­fonomix was paid, ac­cord­ing to SABC trans­ac­tion records, R4.55 mil­lion for seven new web­sites for SABC ra­dio and TV sta­tions, de­liv­er­able by May 2017.

Only one – for Metro FM – was ever de­liv­ered.

The In­fonomix deal was also awarded by de­vi­a­tion in­stead of ten­der. Aguma told staff that this was done to stop com­peti­tors find­ing out what the SABC was do­ing, ac­cord­ing to an SABC au­dit re­port.

There was a si­mul­ta­ne­ous re­quest for an­other In­fonomix deal for R9 mil­lion, re­lated to “dig­i­tal sports rights”, which was never signed or paid, the re­port said.

The man­agers of the sta­tions for which In­fonomix was to pro­duce web­sites were told to im­me­di­ately stop any in­ter­nal work on dig­i­tal strate­gies and hand over their dig­i­tal strat­egy papers to In­fonomix in­stead.

The sole direc­tor of In­fonomix, Muthei­wana Ram­buwani, who used an email ad­dress be­long­ing to a driv­ing school in Midrand called Lpasso, said In­fonomix pre­sented a con­cept to the SABC which was ad­ju­di­cated by the SABC’s strate­gic and com­mer­cial team. It was then shared and pre­sented to the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee and board. “Af­ter these ex­ten­sive en­gage­ments, a let­ter of award was granted.”

Ram­buwani said In­fonomix is­sued a no­tice of breach of con­tract to the SABC in July 2017 be­cause the broad­caster had ren­dered it im­pos­si­ble for In­fonomix to carry out its con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions.

“All doc­u­men­ta­tion to sup­port the above­men­tioned facts were pro­vided to the SIU,” said Ram­buwani.

Said Aguma: “In­fonomix came with a sound pro­posal and they pro­vided a web­site, and while they were busy work­ing on oth­ers, they were chased away.”

Other deals un­der the spot­light

Aguma was al­legedly also re­spon­si­ble for ir­reg­u­larly ap­point­ing ac­count­ing and au­dit­ing firm Sekela Xabiso CA In­cor­po­rated, iron­i­cally hired to pre­vent and de­tect ir­reg­u­lar, fruit­less and waste­ful ex­pen­di­ture in line with ap­pli­ca­ble leg­is­la­tion, poli­cies and pro­ce­dures for the SABC.

The claims are out­lined in af­fi­davits made to the SIU.

“No open bid­ding sup­ply chain man­age­ment process was fol­lowed for the ap­point­ment of Sekela Xabiso, and the ser­vice provider was pro­vided on a de­vi­a­tion,” said the SABC’s then head of sup­ply chain man­age­ment, Si­mon Mo­laudzi, in his af­fi­davit.

The SIU is look­ing to re­cover R9.8 mil­lion paid to the firm. Mo­laudzi, the sub­ject of an ir­reg­u­lar ap­point­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion, has since been fired, claim­ing he was a vic­tim of un­fair dis­missal for blow­ing the whis­tle on an­other in­ves­ti­ga­tion – into the award­ing of a se­cu­rity ten­der that im­pli­cates the in­terim board.

Sikela Xabiso ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Abel Dlamini said the SABC was seek­ing to avoid its pay­ment obli­ga­tions be­cause it didn’t fol­low its own procurement rules and his firm was de­fend­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion to re­view and set aside the award of the con­tract. “Sekela Xabiso has in­structed its le­gal team to de­mand that the SIU forth­with re­tracts the above state­ments, is­sues an apol­ogy and a state­ment clar­i­fy­ing that there is no pend­ing claim against Sekela Xabiso,” he said.

An­other sus­pect con­tract in­volves nearly R20 mil­lion hav­ing been paid to ac­count­ing and con­sult­ing firm Asante Sana.

This started out as a rel­a­tively small R1.7 mil­lion con­tract for three months in 2013 – by way of a de­vi­a­tion re­quest made by Mot­soe­neng.

Then five sep­a­rate ad­den­dums to the con­tract, and an­other de­vi­a­tion, bal­looned the deal into R19.9 mil­lion worth of work up to 2015. Mot­soe­neng signed off on R4.4 mil­lion of that and Aguma on R15.5 mil­lion. Like all the other con­tracts en­tered into by de­vi­a­tion, the re­ports find it ir­reg­u­lar.

Asante Sana direc­tor Mandla Musundwa told City Press that the SABC was al­leg­ing im­pro­pri­ety on the part of its own of­fi­cials, not Asante. “We are very proud of what we have achieved at the SABC,” he said. The SABC has not paid all the firm’s out­stand­ing in­voices and Asante is claim­ing R350 000 from the broad­caster.

An­other po­ten­tial shocker has come to light per­tain­ing to the main­te­nance and re­pair of the lifts at the SABC. The firm Mott Mac­Don­ald was ap­proached by Aguma, ac­cord­ing to an SABC forensic re­port, and paid R4.92 mil­lion for work on the lifts. “There is no proof of de­liv­er­ables linked to pay­ments to Mott Mac­Don­ald,” reads the re­port, adding that the firm’s ap­point­ment was ir­reg­u­lar.

“The firm pro­vided a con­sul­tancy on the lifts and made a re­port on whether we needed new ones or should re­pair ex­ist­ing ones,” said Aguma.

Said Mott Mac­Don­ald’s Tom Smith: “The le­gal pro­ceed­ings fol­low­ing the con­clu­sion of the SABC in­ves­ti­ga­tion are on­go­ing and it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate for us to com­ment at this stage.”

One of the big­ger mat­ters still to come to light re­lates to Vi­sion View, a com­pany con­tracted to pro­vide a mul­ti­pur­pose stu­dio for the SABC. The SIU has had the R52 mil­lion con­tract set aside in court and fur­ther le­gal ac­tion will fol­low.

Re­sponses

This week, the SABC’s Neo Mo­modu said: “Most of the mat­ters re­ferred to are cur­rently un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the SIU and there is also lit­i­ga­tion, which ren­ders the mat­ters sub ju­dice. The SABC can there­fore not com­ment on the spe­cific de­tails of the cases/mat­ters.

“We would, how­ever, like to state that the cur­rent SABC man­age­ment in­her­ited over R5.5 bil­lion in ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture from the pre­vi­ous ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment, and the cases are cur­rently un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the SIU. The SABC has ap­proached the Labour Court to over­turn ir­reg­u­lar ap­point­ments made dur­ing the pre­vi­ous man­age­ment’s ten­ure which have cost the SABC a min­i­mum of R60 mil­lion.”

Both Mot­soe­neng and Aguma said they had never been in­ter­viewed by the SABC or the SIU.

Mot­soe­neng said the cases against him were in­tended to tar­nish his name and re­peat­edly called them “non­sense”, adding that the SIU was be­ing paid by the SABC and was there­fore not im­par­tial.

Mo­modu re­sponded: “Mr Mot­soe­neng’s view is in­dica­tive of his fail­ure to ap­pre­ci­ate the mas­sive dam­age he has caused. The SABC would like to make it clear that Mr Mot­soe­neng was the cen­tral fig­ure in the com­plete fi­nan­cial and gov­er­nance col­lapse of the cor­po­ra­tion which the cur­rent ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment is re­dress­ing.”

PHOTO: FE­LIX DLANGAMANDLA

AT CLOSE QUAR­TERS Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng and James Aguma

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