By Waghied Misbach
SABC boss Dali Mpofu has admitted spending R123000 of taxpayers' money for a cover profile story in a leading business publication, but has denied this was done for "personal publicity".
This was the written reply yesterday from Mpofu's boss, Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, to a question from the Democratic Alliance's Ryan Coetzee.
Coetzee had asked if any money had been spent by Mpofu for the June article in Leadership magazine, who had requested the article, who had approved it, and what the government policy was on "parastatals using money for personal publicity".
In her written reply, Matsepe-Casaburri said Mpofu had supplied her with information about what had happened.
The money, she said, came out of the corporate marketing and public affairs, and international and regulatory affairs budgets.
The expenditure was authorised by Phumelele Ntombele- Nzimande, the group executive for public, international and regulatory affairs.
Matsepe-Casaburri said: "The article provided the SABC with an opportunity to further communicate the new corporate strategy of 'total citizen empowerment' and to focus on the new vision the organisation recently adopted.
"The article was not personal publicity for advocate Dali Mpofu. The only question that focuses on him as an individual was the first question in the article and presumably it was done to give readers ... an opportunity to get to know the person at the helm of an important public institution such as the SABC.
"This is normal in organisational communication and does not amount to personal publicity," Matsepe-Casaburri said.
"It was the magazine which approached the SABC to do a profile on the new corporate strategy and advocate Mpofu as the group chief executive officer.
"A decision was taken to accept the offer of the magazine," she said.