JOHANNESBURG – Controversial former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng could lose his R22 million pension benefit held by the public broadcaster’s pension fund, should he fail to repay over R11.5m.
The South Gauteng High Court last week ordered the African Content Movement leader to pay back the R11.5m success fee he scored, after helping the SABC secure a R1.2 billion deal with MultiChoice.
Motsoeneng’s troubles with the SABC and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) look set to get worse… Both entities are pursuing another claim for more than R10.2m in wasteful and irregular expenditure incurred during his tenure in office at the public broadcaster.
In court papers, the SABC and the SIU have indicated that a wasteful and irregular expenditure lawsuit will only proceed after the claim for payment of the R11.5m success fee is finalised.
Motsoeneng has told the high court he objects to the wasteful and irregular expenditure claim as the matter cannot be delayed, and that it has no legal or factual basis and he wants the matter dismissed with costs.
In his 65-page judgment delivered on Wednesday, Acting Judge JL Khan ordered Motsoeneng to repay to the SABC R11.5m including 15.5% annual interest calculated from September 2016, within seven days from the date that the ruling is served on him.
“The pension fund is to pay to the SABC an amount of R11.5m from the pension proceeds that have accumulated to the benefit of Motsoeneng, in favour of the SABC. Alternatively, it has to pay the full pension payment proceeds of Motsoeneng in the event that they do not equal R11.5m. And in the event that the second respondent (Motsoeneng) fails to pay the moneys over within seven days from date of service of this order,” reads the ruling.
Acting Judge Khan declared the August 2016 decision by the SABC board’s governance and nominations committee to award Motsoeneng the success fee, which was 2.5% of the R1.2bn deal he helped seal, invalid and set it aside.
In January 2019, South Gauteng High Court Judge Avrille Maier-Frawley restrained the SABC Pension Fund from paying out the whole pension benefit it held and standing to Motsoeneng’s credit, pending action to be instituted by the public broadcaster.
Motsoeneng had sought to withdraw his R22m pension benefit from the fund.
On Friday, Motsoeneng’s daughter Lerato took to social media, saying the family was still going through the high court ruling, which is forcing him to repay the R11.5m.
”My dad is in high spirits and will comment soon,” she said.