More SABC woes after revelation broadcaster spent R22m on Motsoeneng’s legal fees

The SABC just can’t seem to escape the disaster that was Hlaudi Motsoeneng. The state broadcaster’s bank balance couldn’t either.


Former SABC Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng was sacked from the state broadcaster over a year ago. Unfortunately for the SABC, he continues to haunt them like a ghost that just won’t give up.

On Thursday, the SABC revealed, via a parliamentary question, that it had spent over R22 million on Motsoeneng’s legal costs.

In a reply to DA MP Phumzile Van Damme, former Communications Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, revealed that the broadcaster has spent millions on legal fees for Motsoeneng since 2013.

The build-up of fees include action taken by former SABC news anchor Vuyo Mvoko (R1.1m), the DA (R5.3m), the Helen Suzman Foundation (R1.6m) and various board members (R4.9m).

“This R22 million by far exceeds the R15 million taxpayers have had to fork out on former President Jacob Zuma’s legal fees. Just like the other litigious delinquent, Jacob Zuma, Motsoeneng must pay this money back to the public purse.”

“The public should not have to pay for this one man wrecking ball’s legal fees,” Van Damme said.

The Special Investigating Unit is also currently pursuing Motsoeneng’s R21m debt to the SABC. Add the two together and Motsoeneng effectively owes the SABC R43m.

Van Damme and her party are now calling on the SABC to hold Hlaudi responsible for this “excessive amount of money”.

A reply from current Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, also revealed this week that the SABC is owed R25 billion in TV license fees.

The R25 billion exists after unpaid fees built up over the past three years, with the public broadcaster’s finances so well documented, this is just another thing for the new board to worry about.

If you thought the R25 588 802 443 wasn’t a high enough number, Mokonyane’s reply also revealed that the SABC wrote off over R4.5 billion. The more than one million accounts written off were said to be “invalid”.