R13 million, SABC golden handshakes cause outcry

By Drum Digital
03 October 2014

Taxpayers have had to pay close to R13 million for two former SABC executives' golden handshakes.

Taxpayers have had to pay close to R13 million for two former SABC executives' golden handshakes when they left the embattled broadcaster. The 2013/14 annual report of the SABC, tabled in Parliament this week, revealed that former CEO Lulama Mokhobo was paid just over R8m for 11 months of service. She resigned in February.

The amount included a basic salary of R5.3m and R2.2m for expenses and allowances.

Former executive Phil Molefe received a golden handshake of R4.8m, which includes a basic salary of R3.5m and R733,000 for travel and allowances.

News of the golden handshakes would see Public Protector Thuli Madonsela receive another request to probe the SABC.

The Democratic Alliance on Friday said it had asked Madonsela to probe whether controversial SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng played a role in purging both Mokhobo and Molefe, and whether this resulted in unnecessary financial losses for the broadcaster.

"In the public protector's report of 17 February 2014, it was found that Motsoeneng had purged senior staff members, resulting in unnecessary financial losses which amounted to financial mismanagement," said DA MP Gavin Davis.

The report details 14 instances where staff were purged, but does not deal with the Mokhobo and Molefe cases.

"There is, however, evidence to suggest that Motsoeneng also played a key role in purging Mokhobo and Molefe, resulting in R13m paid out to them in compensation for loss of office," Davis said.

"Now that the extent of the financial losses incurred by the SABC in these two cases has been revealed, we believe it is incumbent upon the public protector to investigate whether Motsoeneng purged Mokhobo and Molefe in the same way that he was found to have purged at least 14 other senior SABC staff members."

Davis also wanted Madonsela to probe whether Motsoeneng was guilty of financial mismanagement for the R13m paid out as a result of the purges.

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