Johannesburg - THE South Gauteng High Court in Joburg has set aside the decision of the SABC board to pay its former chief executive officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng a whooping success fee of R11.5 million.
Now, the High Court has ordered Motsoeneng to pay back that money within seven days to the state.
In a ruling made on Wednesday, the court declared the decision made in August 2016 by the then SABC Board unlawful and invalid.
The court ordered Motsoeneng to repay the amount paid to him, as a success fee amounting to (R11,508,549.12) within seven 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 Motsoeneng fails to pay within seven days, the SABC Pension Fund is ordered to pay the amount to the SABC or all the pension proceeds where the pension proceeds do not amount to R11,508,549.12.
Furthermore, 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) and the SABC approached the High Court to review and set aside a decision by the former SABC Board to pay Motsoeneng a success fee and recover financial losses suffered by the SABC.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the court action was informed by the SIU investigation in 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 directed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations of corruption, maladministration, malpractice and payments made by the SABC together with the conduct 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.
SIU Head Advocate Andy Mothibi has 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, 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.”