SABC’s ‘purges for political reasons’ cost R7-million a year

17 September 2015 - 11:02
By RDM News Wire

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has paid out an average of R7-million per year in golden handshakes “to executives whose contracts are terminated prematurely” over the last six years.

That’s according to the Democratic Alliance’s Gavin Davis‚ who quoted a parliamentary reply from Communications Minister Faith Muthambi in which it was “revealed that the SABC paid executives R42605000” over that period.

“In virtually all of these cases‚ the executives receiving the payouts were purged for political reasons‚” said Davis‚ whi listed the “five biggest golden handshakes” as:

- Former SABC CEO Dali Mpofu for R13.2-million‚ “after he fell out with the SABC board”;

- Former CEO Lulama Mokhobo got R5.6-million “following months of bullying and verbal abuse at the hands of COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng” after completing just 11 months of a five-year contract;

- Former head of news Phil Molefe got “R4.9-million to resign in 2013‚ allegedly because he had refused to bow to pressure from the (President Jacob) Zuma faction to blacklist (Economic Freedom Fighters leader) Julius Malema”;

- Former acting COO Christine Mampane got “R4.3-million after Motsoeneng requested the SABC board to remove her in 2012”; and

- Former CEO Solly Mokoetle got “R3.8-million after an ‘irretrievable breakdown’ with the SABC board led to his resignation in 2011. Mokoetle has now resurfaced as the head of the Digital Migration Programme in Muthambi’s office”.

Davis said that “SABC executives are hired on the basis of their perceived loyalty to the dominant faction of the ANC instead of their ability to do the job”.

“Even the ANC acknowledges that there is a leadership crisis at the SABC‚” he added‚ quoting a recent ruling party National General Coucil discussion paper which said: “In confronting the crisis more emphasis has been placed on reporting processes without a corresponding attention to holding those responsible to account for the financial and organizational maladministration that has brought the public broadcasting institution into crisis.”

Davis said that if the ANC “wants to stabilise the SABC‚ it must abolish its policy of cadre deployment and start hiring people based on their ability to do the job”.

Failing to do so‚ he opined‚ would mean “TV licences will continue to be spent on multimillion-rand golden handshakes”.

Davis said the R7-million per year average in golden handshakes “is the equivalent of 26 415 annual TV licence renewals”.