SABC coughs up R7m for staff sitting at home

2011-07-09 16:44

Former SABC acting chief executive Gab Mampone raked in more than R1.1 million in a year – while sitting at home.

He is one of 26 employees that the SABC paid almost R7 million in salaries over two years while their suspensions dragged on.

Among the other top guns who made a killing while on extended suspensions were news resources general manager Rapitsi Montsho (more than R1 million in 20 months) and former boss Solly Mokoetle (R815 000 in four months).

Mokoetle left the SABC in January with a R3.4 million golden handshake, but SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said none of the other 14 employees who had since been dismissed was paid to leave.

The SABC also paid murder accused Patrick Malgas more than R43 000 in four months after the voice-over artist
allegedly killed journalist Shadi Rapitso.

Malgas was suspended by the public broadcaster for “committing a common law offence” after the October 2009 incident in Johannesburg.

He was released on R5 000 bail last February and was due to stand trial this year for the murder of the former and City Press journalist.

Rapitso was found in Malgas’s bathroom with her throat slit.

Kganyago confirmed that Malgas was still employed at the SABC.

Some of the other alleged offences involving staff members included financial mismanagement, threats of violence, dishonesty, unauthorised entry and malicious damage to property.

Head of SABC News International Dr Saul Pelle stayed at home for more than eight months, earning a salary of R370 000.

English TV newsreader Mahendra Raghunath was suspended for “contravention of rules and regulations; non compliance with duties of contract employment”.

His suspension was lifted last June after four months, for which he was paid about R100 000.

Head of the SABC’s 2010 World Cup project unit, Peter Kwele, paid R216 000 over three months, left the public broadcaster in December.

Kwele had been suspended in October for hiring the Sandton Convention Centre as the SABC’s broadcast base for the 2010 World Cup at a cost of R26 million.

Though the SABC said it was not at liberty to discuss individual employees with a third party, its policy stated that if an employee had committed an act of serious misconduct, such as assault or theft, the employee may be suspended pending an investigation or a disciplinary hearing.

Kganyago said the suspensions were for the period prior to the implementation of the turnaround plan.

He said the SABC was able to reduce the number of employees suspended to seven.

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