AS IT HAPPENED: SABC 'lost about R2.3bn as a result of sports rights' in 5 years - board chair tells #StateCaptureInquiry

2019-09-02 16:00

The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture has heard additional testimony from former NPA boss Mxolisi Nxasana, followed by testimony from SABC board chair Bongumusa Makhathini.

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(Courtesy of SABC) 

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo
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Last Updated at 23:56
02 Sep 16:07

Seems like that is Makhathini's evidence for now. Zondo thanks him for his testimony, and excuses him, reminding him that should the commission need evidence from him again, they will call upon him.

Zondo adjourns proceedings for the day. Back at 10:00 tomorrow morning.


02 Sep 16:04

"The only thing we are able to pay, religiously every month, is our staff," says Makhathini. "Our salary bill is sitting at about R260m. After paying that, there is nothing left."

Makhathini also says that staff are in and out of hospitals every month because the SABC is unable to uphold health and safety standards.


02 Sep 16:00

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Makhathini says there were a number of contracts that the SABC had entered into, which did not make sense commercially, including sports rights/contracts. 

Makhathini: "Sports rights, for an example, sports rights prices had become so high, and our ability to commercialise those rights was not in line with what we were paying for these rights. So we as a board took a position, as a majority of the board let me emphasise that, that we will no longer sign any contract that does not make commercial sense for the SABC...and sports fed into that basket." 

Makhathini: "...if you look at the sports rights alone, in the last five years SABC has lost about R2.3bn as a result of sports rights. I spoke to you about the financials for the last financial year of about R483[m], about R410m of that R483[m] loss, is due to sports." 


02 Sep 15:30

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Makhathini says at the SABC they are still living under circumstances where you have to worry about your safety just because you are doing what is right. 

Makhathini: "And what is the most frustrating things, at times, they will cover some of these things as 'transformation'. They will label you as somebody who is against transformation, when they're hiding corruption under transformation. Or they will label you as someone who is 'gender insensitive', just because they want to cover certain things, using gender and transformation."

Makhathini says when you look at what the Public Protector found, about the purging of competent, experienced people and replacing them with people who are not properly qualified, what happened in 2014, is still happening today.


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Makhathini is currently summarising the SABC board's turnaround strategy, which MPs did not agree with - Makhathini mentions the issue of retrenchments several times, and says they were told that retrenchments would not be allowed, but at the same time they were not receiving any financial assistance. 

Makhathini is now asked about the four board members who resigned in December 2018. He earlier said they had resigned for a number of reasons, including the workload and over issues of "independence" at the SABC.


02 Sep 14:23

Makhathini reads from a report - he is dealing with the findings and recommendations of investigations into the SABC, such as those from the Public Protector, and Parliament's ad hoc committee.

Makhathini says that the SABC is at "80%-90%" of implementing the recommendations made by the Public Protector.


02 Sep 14:16

Jiba, Mrwebi 'were bragging' that nothing would happen to them, state capture inquiry hears

Former National Director of Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana says he received reports that fired senior prosecutors, Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, "bragged" that nothing would happen to them.

Nxasana was testifying for a second time at the state capture commission of inquiry on Monday.

During his testimony, he referred to judgments in which Jiba and Mrwebi were criticised for their conduct in the decision to withdraw charges against former Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

Nxasana said on July 18, 2014, he made recommendations to the Minister of Justice to ask the president to institute disciplinary action against Jiba and Mrwerbi and to place them on suspension pending the hearing.


02 Sep 14:13

Proceedings resume after lunch, with Advocate Norman continuing to lead Makhathini's evidence.

Norman confirms with Makhathini that at one stage, he was a chairperson of Zuma's foundation. Makhathini says he was involved with the foundation for more than three years, but he resigned on the 18th of October 2017. His resignation followed a day after he was appointed to the SABC board.


02 Sep 13:10

Norman halts her questioning as Zondo requests that the lunch adjournment now be taken. Back in an hour.

Proceedings adjourn.


02 Sep 13:07

02 Sep 12:57

02 Sep 12:49

Makhathini is sworn in, and Advocate Norman confirms his position - that of SABC board chair. 

Makhathini is then asked to outline his qualifications and experience.


02 Sep 12:47

Advocate Thandi Norman is currently going through some admin issues regarding evidence bundles with Zondo, before the witness proceeds.


02 Sep 12:41

SABC board chair Bongumusa Makhathini is expected to testify first, as the focus at the commission now shifts to the public broadcaster.


02 Sep 12:37

02 Sep 12:09

Zondo asks Nxasana if he has "paid back the money" from his settlement...

"No," says Nxasana. Zondo asks him why, and he responds: "Because I don't have it."

With that, Zondo excuses Nxasana once again, and breaks for a late tea adjournment while the legal team preps the next witness. 

Back at 12:25. 


02 Sep 12:02

Zondo is currently clarifying a few more issues with Nxasana before he is excused from the witness stand.


02 Sep 11:47

Nxasana concludes his testimony: "Political and external interference in decision making at the NPA undermined its integrity and effectiveness, and served to erode public confidence in the organisation. And also the failure to act decisively against advocates Jiba and Mrwebi in particular, harmed the organisation."

Nxasana says in his view, the Parliamentary committee on justice "did little or nothing" to exercise appropriate oversight or intervene in the issues concerning Jiba and Mrwebi - at least while he was in office.


02 Sep 11:39

Nxasana says that Mahlobo asked that he meet with Zuma's legal adviser, Michael Hulley, the next day, but "he knew that I didn't want to meet with Mr Hulley because he had let me down before..."

Nxasana says he eventually met with Hulley and Mr Madumo.


02 Sep 11:23

02 Sep 11:00

Nxasana says if the decision to resign was his, he would have done so in writing, and he would not have insisted on being paid out the whole amount of the remainder of his contract.


02 Sep 10:53

02 Sep 10:46

Zondo asks Nxasana if he can recall who it was who first said/suggested that he should step down from his role as NPA head. Nxasana says as he recalls, it was former justice minister Jeff Radebe. Nxasana tells Zondo that since his last appearance at the commission, he had even managed to find his letter responding to Radebe in this regard. 

Nxasana says after he refused to vacate office, Radebe then said they would initiate the process of instituting a commission of inquiry into his fitness to hold office.


02 Sep 10:34

Nxasana says that at no stage was NPA senior management "divided" under his watch, despite allegations against him.


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Nxasana now answers questions related to advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi. Nxasana refers to court judgments criticising Jiba and Mrwebi's conduct in the decision to withdraw charges against former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. "At the time, the media's focus was on the unlawful conduct of advocates Jiba and Mrwebi," says Nxasana.


02 Sep 09:57

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Nxasana says when he was approached and offered the NPA job, he took it upon himself to do the security clearance, even though he was never asked to disclose anything. It was only after his appointment that the NPA conducted its own security clearance on him.


02 Sep 09:31

Nxasana says he disclosed the assault charge in his security clearance application, and also made additional disclosures relating to civil summonses and traffic fines, as well as complaints against him at the law society. Nxasana says he disclosed more than what was required.


02 Sep 09:23

02 Sep 09:17

Nxasana begins his testimony today by detailing the terms of reference from an inquiry into his fitness to hold office, which was instituted by former president Jacob Zuma. Nxasana says there were complaints levelled against him in the inquiry, which were not part of the terms of reference of the inquiry.


02 Sep 09:07

Proceedings are now under way. Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo says due to the lapse of time, former national director of public prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana should be sworn in again.

He is sworn in, and the commission continues, with Advocate Paul Pretorius leading Nxasana's evidence.



02 Sep 09:01

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