sabc 'primed staff'

Dudu Busani

Dudu Busani

The Johannesburg commercial crimes court yesterday heard how witnesses in the trial of suspended SABC radio presenter Thuso Motaung were allegedly told what to say.

The SABC staffers, fearing for their jobs, cooperated with the corporation's internal investigators. One staffer was even told what to say in court.

Sales manager for SABC Interactive, Tebogo More, said this when giving evidence in the corruption case against Motaung, his wife Mmamotha and their business associate Joshua Ramme.

More also told the court during cross-examination that he had to change the details in his statement about the case several times. This he did on the instruction of the investigators.

The Motaungs, employed by the SABC's Lesedi FM, are currently on suspension.

They allegedly defrauded the station of more than R20million by using advertising airtime to promote an energy supplement called Power Mix for their own benefit.

More came under fire during cross-examination by defence lawyer Mike Hellens when he failed to explain why the contract signed between the SABC and JR Business Analysts and Developers, the company responsible for promoting Power Mix, did not indicate details, guidelines and the duration of the agreement between the two parties.

"This is a rubbish contract and you will agree with me when I say the staff of Lesedi FM did not know that they were doing something wrong when they promoted Power Mix because they were not informed of a procedure and guidelines they had to follow," said Hellens.

More replied: "Yes, some details are not in the contract, but I had verbal discussions with the station manager Pula Pula Mothibi that Lesedi would promote Power Mix on air for 14 weeks, and that the SABC would get R1 for each packet sold.

"That money would be donated to charity," said More.

Motaung, his wife and Ramme are all out on bail. The trial continues tomorrow.