SABC suspends Lesedi FM managers

UNDER INVESTIGATION: Thuso Motaung and his wife Mmamontha are out on bail of R100 000 each. Pic. Elvis Ntombela. 30/05/07. © Sunday World.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Thuso Motaung and his wife Mmamontha are out on bail of R100 000 each. Pic. Elvis Ntombela. 30/05/07. © Sunday World.

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

Thuso Motaung's wife, Mmamontha, and two Lesedi FM managers have been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.

SABC management announced yesterday that the broadcaster had instituted disciplinary hearings against Mrs Motaung, Lesedi station manager Pula Pula Mothibi and programmes manager Wire Khaoli.

The broadcaster said Mothibi and Khaoli were placed on "special leave" to afford them the opportunity to prepare for the hearing.

It said this followed the group internal audit investigation into mismanagement at Lesedi FM, which resulted in the arrest of Thuso Motaung and his wife in December.

The Motaungs were charged in the commercial crimes court in Johannesburg with corruption, money laundering and using the SABC logo illegally in promoting their own products. Their case has been postponed to February next year.

They are on bail of R100000 each. During their arrest, several of their properties, including their houses, private cars and taxis were impounded. Their businesses were also attached.

The state has since returned the couple's shop and three private vehicles. Motaung has also been granted permission to keep proceeds of a CD he released after his arrest.

The couple and their business partner, James Ramme, are accused of defrauding the SABC of more than R32 million.

The three also allegedly contravened contractual obligations for the marketing of products on air and allegedly illegally used the Lesedi FM logo on the packaging of a product they were promoting.

The station's management decided to institute internal disciplinary hearings against Mothibi, Khaoli and Mmamontha Motaung following recommendations from a group internal audit.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said Mothibi and Khaoli would be placed on "special leave" so they can prepare for the hearings.

Mohapi Mosololi and Khotso Nkhato have been appointed acting station manager and programmes manager respectively until the matter had been resolved.

"The SABC would like to reiterate that we are committed to fairness and transparency in dealing with matters of this nature," Kganyago said.

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