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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Hlaudi Motsoeneng, execs acted unlawfully when paying music legends

The Special Tribunal found Motsoeneng and ex-executives had abused their powers and violated internal policies at SABC.

The Special Tribunal’s judgment has declared a decision by former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng and eight ex-executives to pay 53 music legends R50 000 each in 2016 to be irregular, unlawful and invalid.

The tribunal ruled that Motsoeneng and the executives had abused their powers and violated internal policies at the SABC.

Tribunal judgment

In its judgment dated 18 October 2022, the Special Tribunal found that the irregular and unlawful decision by Motsoeneng and eight other former SABC executives had resulted in the public broadcaster incurring an irregular and wasteful expenditure of R2 425 000.

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The payments were incentives for supporting the SABC by compensating music legends who allegedly did not receive needletime royalties prior to 1996.

Special Investigating Unit (SIU) spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the investigation unit and the SABC approached the Special Tribunal following an investigation by the SIU in the affairs of the SABC, which revealed that the SABC did not have a policy on which the payment decisions were based on.

Internal policies disregarded

“Furthermore, the investigation revealed that former executives collectively disregarded SABC’s internal policies and acted recklessly and grossly negligent in the performance of their duties and abused their power as SABC executives.”

“The Special Tribunal order is a continuation of implementation of the SIU investigations outcomes and consequence management to recover monies lost by the SABC,” Kganyago said.

Other cases

Kganyago said there are other cases enrolled in the High Court and in the Special Tribunal awaiting adjudication and will result in recoveries for the SABC.

“The SIU is empowered to institute civil action in the High Court or a Special Tribunal in its name, to correct any wrongdoing uncovered during both investigations caused by acts of corruption, fraud, or maladministration.”

“In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996, the SIU will refer any evidence pointing to criminal conduct it uncovers to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further action,” Kganyago said.

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