Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: ALON SKUY
Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: ALON SKUY

Axed SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s troubles are far from over, with the interim board now scrutinising the R11m bonus payment he received for orchestrating the controversial deal with pay TV company MultiChoice.

It is understood that Motsoeneng, who was dismissed from the public broadcaster on Monday, might be compelled to pay back the money.

Briefing members of Parliament’s communications portfolio committee on the implementation of the ad hoc committee recommendations on Tuesday, SABC interim board chairwoman Khanyisile Kweyama said the bonus paid to Motsoeneng and various others had been referred to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

Kweyama also confirmed that Motsoeneng, whose fixed-term contract at the SABC was only due to expire next year, would not be paid out any compensation as he was dismissed for violating the public broadcaster’s code of conduct.

Motsoeneng will serve one month’s notice before his dismissal becomes effective. During that month, he will face another disciplinary hearing in line with the damning public protector’s report.

Motsoeneng was dismissed on Monday following a disciplinary hearing. He faced charges of bringing the SABC into disrepute after holding a media briefing while under suspension in which he publicly criticised the interim board and its decision to reverse his 90% local content policy.

Kweyama said the bonus payment, initially meant to be R30m, was highly irregular and was not ratified by the board at the time. She said the payment was seen as a "finder’s fee".

Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo told MPs the bonus payments were "problematic" because there was no performance-management system or agreements in place.

"It [such bonus payments] started way before Motsoeneng. How do people justify payments of bonuses when performance has been dismal and there are no performance agreements?" asked Dlodlo.

The SABC has recorded staggering losses in recent years. MPs heard on Tuesday the SABC was forecasting a loss of R1.1bn for the 2016-17 financial year.

It emerged last year that Motsoeneng was paid R11m for negotiating the deal with MultiChoice. The controversial R533m deal gave the private broadcaster access to the SABC’s entire archive.

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