Hlaudi Not Paying Back SABC R11 Million, Appealing Ruling

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Fired South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chief operating officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng, has denied receiving a “success fee” of R11 million and says he is appealing the court ruling ordering him to pay back the money.

“I was not paid R11 million as the court found,” said Motsoeneng on Wednesday. 

“The Judgment ignored the facts presented in court including the records of the SABC – I was only paid around R6.7 million.

Last week on Friday the high court in Johannesburg found that the SABC’s decision to pay Motsoeneng an R11.5-million “success fee” in 2016 for a broadcasting deal he concluded with MultiChoice should be set aside as it was “unlawful and invalid”

The court ordered the former SABC COO to repay the public broadcaster more the money he received as a “success fee” plus interest of 15 percent within seven days.  

Motsoeneng was fired from his cushy job in 2017 amid allegations of gross mismanagement, irregular editorial policy changes, political nepotism, unfair dismissals, and general incompetence.

However, on Wednesday Motsoeneng said: “The Judge ordered that I must pay back R11 508 549 including 15 percent interest – I believe the Judge was unreasonable because even if a person can invest money, there is no way that you can accumulate so much interest which we know that is controlled by inflation – which is below 15%.”

Motsoeneng, who insists he did not reward himself with the millions of rand, said: “I would like to inform the public that I have already instructed my legal team to appeal the high court ruling.”

He added: “I have never stolen any cent from the SABC, I was paid by my bosses. 

“In history, I have never heard any employee rejecting a payment. The payment was done in recognition of the good work I have done for the SABC which is not debatable.”

Motsoeneng said because he felt the judge had erred in her findings as well as recognising that “courts play an important role in safeguarding our democracy, I have decided to lodge an appeal in protection of the rule of law”.

The court action against Motsoeneng was prompted by the Special Investigating Unit probe into the affairs of the SABC, which found the public broadcaster made irregular payments to selected staff and entered into contracts that were detrimental.