Licence: SABC demands fees from woman long dead

2013-01-31 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — A Pretoria woman has tried in vain for 15 years to cancel her deceased mother’s SABC television licence.

Elizabeth van Zyl told sister paper Beeld her mother, Martha Bezuidenhout, died in Pretoria in August 1998.

“She was a pensioner who lived with us, and was the proud owner of a television with a valid licence. When she died, I made copies of her death certificate, wrote a nice letter, and posted it to the SABC,” she said.

However, Van Zyl has since received countless postal demands addressed to her mother and letters threatening court action.

She said she still had her mother’s ashes as she intended burying them with her father, in Durban.

“I wish the SABC would take me to court. I’d love to wait until they call her name, so I can stand up with the box of ashes, and say ‘here she is’,” she told the newspaper

Van Zyl said she took out her own licence in 2000. In 2002, after her mother’s death, she went to work in Namibia. She wrote to the SABC telling them she was leaving the country, and cancelling her licence. When she returned four years later, the SABC sent a demand for four years’ arrears and interest. After repeated attempts to sort it out, she took out yet another licence. Later, while undergoing debt counselling, she paid off the debt of R2 700.

SABC communication manager Christelle Keevy said she needed the licence number to deal with Van Zyl’s complaint.

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