Motsoeneng accused of dishing out R11m in unlawful payments to 215 musicians

Dylan Bettencourt

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) case against former SABC chief operating officer (COO) Hladui Motsoeneng got underway on Monday.

It kicked off with the Special Tribunal reviewing an application by both the SIU and the SABC.

Both parties are attempting to recover R2.5 million which Motsoeneng used to pay several musicians in 2016.

Six years ago, a group of 53 musicians including Blondie Makhene and the late Steve Kekana were given a once-off payment of R50,000 each.

While the SIU and SABC are aiming to have the money recovered, they are also attempting to have the transfers deemed as invalid and set aside.

Advocate Jabu Motepe who is representing the SIU and the SABC declared that the payments should be deemed unlawful as they were made to the musicians without any policy in place.

“We say this is wrong because that clause specifically says the SABC must come up with a policy to enhance the cultural issues,” said Motepe.

“The development of a policy is one thing, but to make a decision for which the SABC had to pay is another, so there was no policy.”

Motepe said in order for the payment to be approved the SABC would have had to formulate a three-year business plan that included plans to pay the musicians.

“The payment for the legends is not part of this three-year business plan that would have been approved,” he added.

Former SABC COO Motsoeneng argued that he received the funds to make the payments through private sources such as MultiChoice which Motepe swiftly argued against.

“Evidence shows that that is not true. All the money that was paid was internal from the SABC. None of the decision makers evaluated all those facts. They simply approved,” he said.

While the two parties seeking their money are only looking for R2.5 million, the advocate said that Motsoeneng was meant to pay only 180 musicians the R50,000 each but that figure soon increased to 215 musicians – making the total R10.7 million.

Image source: @BusinessLIVE

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