On 19 August 2016, the former SABC Board made a decision to pay its former Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Hlaudi Motsoeneng, a “success fee” amounting to over R11,5 million. It is unclear on what success specifically this fee is based.
On Wednesday 15 December 2021, the High Court of South Africa: Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg , declared the 19 August 2016 decision by the then SABC Board unlawful and invalid.
The Court ordered Mr. Motsoeneng to repay the “success fee” amount paid to him, a fee amounting to exactly R11,508,549.12, within 7 days of the order, with interest, at the rate of 15,5% per annum calculated from 13 September 2016 to the date of payment. In the event Mr. Motsoeneng fails to pay within 7 days, the SABC Pension Fund is ordered to pay the aforementioned amount to the SABC or all the pension proceeds where the pension proceeds do not amount to R11,508,549.12.
Furthermore, Mr. Motsoeneng was ordered by the High Court to pay the costs of the application together with the costs of two counsel.
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) together with the SABC approached the High Court to review and set aside the decision by the former SABC Board to pay Mr. Motsoeneng a “success fee” and recover financial losses suffered by the SABC. The Court action was informed by the SIU investigation into the affairs of the SABC, which revealed that the SABC irregularly paid monies to individuals and entered into contracts to the detriment of the public broadcaster.
The SIU was, in terms of Proclamation R29 of 2017, directed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations of corruption, maladministration, malpractice and payments made by the SABC together with the conducts of its employees. Where required, the SIU was authorised to institute civil proceedings, refer evidence to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for prosecution in line with SIU Act 74 of 1996.
SIU Head, Advocate Andy Mothibi welcomed the High Court judgement.
“This is a continuation of implementation of the SIU investigations outcomes and consequence management to recover monies lost by the SABC. There are other cases enrolled in the High Court and in the Special Tribunal awaiting adjudication and will result in further recoveries for the SABC,” Mothibi said.
The SABC’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Madoda Mxakwe in welcoming the judgment said:
“‘This judgment bears testimony to the SABC’s commitment to addressing corporate governance failures of the past, whilst ensuring monies due to the Corporation are recovered. We are confident that this judgment demonstrates progress in the SABC’s turnaround journey.”