Hlaudi Motsoeneng ordered to repay R11.5m to SABC within 7 days... plus 5 years' interest

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Hlaudi Motsoeneng at a press briefing in August 2017. Picture: Themba Makofane:
Hlaudi Motsoeneng at a press briefing in August 2017. Picture: Themba Makofane:
  • The High Court has ordered former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng to pay back over R11 million received from the public broadcaster's former board as a "success fee".
  • The court has given him seven days to pay the money back with interest.
  • If he fails to do so, the SABC Pension Fund has been ordered to pay the amount to the SABC or all the pension proceeds if the proceeds do not amount to R11 508 549.12.

Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been ordered to repay the public broadcaster over R11 million he received as a "success fee" within seven days.

The Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ruled that the decision by the then-SABC board to pay Motsoeneng the R11 508 549.12 fee was unlawful and invalid, and set it aside. He was paid the amount for brokering a deal with MultiChoice for broadcast rights, including access to the SABC archives.

"The success achieved with MultiChoice is what he was employed to achieve and for which he earned his salary of R3 683 600.00 per annum," read the court ruling.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the SABC approached the Gauteng High Court to review and set aside the decision of the former SABC board.

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Motsoeneng was ordered to repay the amount within seven days and with interest at the rate of 15.5% per annum, calculated from 13 September 2016 to the date of payment.

"The Pension Fund is to pay to the SABC an amount of R11 508 549.12 from the pension proceeds that have accumulated to the benefit of Mr H R Motsoeneng, in favour of the SABC, alternatively to pay the full pension proceeds of Mr H R Motsoeneng, in the event that they do not equal R11 508 549.12, in the event that the Second Respondent fails to pay within 7 (seven) days from date of service of this order," ruled Judge JL Khan.

The head of the SIU advocate Andy Mothibi welcomed the outcome.

"This is a continuation of the implementation of the SIU investigation's outcomes and consequence management to recover monies lost by the SABC. There are other cases enrolled in the High Court and in the Special Tribunal awaiting adjudication and will result in further recoveries for the SABC," Mothibi said.

The SABC's Group Chief Executive Officer Madoda Mxakwe said the judgment was a testament to the public broadcaster's commitment to addressing corporate governance failures.

"This judgment bears testimony to the SABC's commitment to addressing corporate governance failures of the past, whilst ensuring monies due to the corporation are recovered. We are confident that this judgment demonstrates progress in the SABC's turnaround journey," said Mxakwe.

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