Former South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chief operating officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng has signalled his intention to appeal a court ruling that ordering him to pay back the public broadcaster R11.5 million.
“I would like to inform the public that I have already instructed my legal team to appeal the high court ruling,” the SABC boss said in a four-page statement.
This comes after the High Court in Johannesburg last Friday found that the SABC board’s decision to pay Motsoeneng an R11.5-million “success fee” was “unlawful and invalid”.
Motsoeneng received the success fee in 2016 for his role in securing the SABC a deal with MultiChoice.
The SIU, together with the SABC, had approached the high court to review and set aside a decision by the SABC’s former board to pay Motsoeneng a success fee and recover financial losses suffered by the broadcaster.
The African Content Movement (ACM) leader was ordered to repay R11.5 million to the SABC within seven days, plus 15.5% interest dating back to September 2016.
Acting Judge JL Khan also ordered Motsoeneng to pay the costs of application and two counsels.
Reacting to the judgement, Motsoeneng described the ruling as “outlandish”, denying that he received a success fee of R11.5 million.
“I was not paid R11 million as the court found. The judgment ignored the facts presented in court including the records of the SABC [as] I was only paid around R6.7 million. The judge ordered that I must pay back R11,508,549 including 15% interest.
“I believe the judge was unreasonable because even if a person can invest money, there is no way that you can accumulate so much interest which we know that is controlled by inflation, which is below 15%,” he said.
The ACM leader said he found the judge’s ruling that he was involved in the payment of success fee “inaccurate” and “misleading”.
“This is an employer and employee issue, I was paid a fee voluntarily by the erstwhile board. I have played no role towards the motivation or processing of the success fee payment. The judge said the board gave me permission to sign the contract, this is incorrect.
“Permission was given by the committee of the board to only sign the MultiChoice contract. Interestingly, I find it strange that people who took the decision to pay the success fee on behalf of the SABC were not even asked to assist the court with first,” he continued to say.
Motsoeneng insisted that he has “never stolen any cent from the SABC” as he was paid by his bosses.
“The judge ignored a counter claim that I lodged at the tribunal in which I wanted the SABC to pay about R22 million outstanding success fee that they still owe me,” he added.
Earlier this year, Motsoeneng was ordered to repay over R850,000 in legal fees following an investigation, which found that several irregularities took place, including the unlawful use of the broadcaster’s purse to fund the former COO’s legal battles.
The former SABC boss was fired from his position in 2017 after an internal disciplinary hearing found him guilty of misconduct.