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Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: SOWETAN/SANDILE NDLOVU
Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: SOWETAN/SANDILE NDLOVU

Former SABC COO and African Content Movement leader Hlaudi Motsoeneng believes his political opponents are out to tarnish his name after demands to repay R2.5m handed to “music legends” during his tenure at the public broadcaster.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and SABC this week demanded that Motsoeneng and nine former SABC executives pay back the money allegedly irregularly given to musicians.

The Special Tribunal heard that Motsoeneng and the executives, including former group CEO James Aguma, made “gratuity payments” to 180 “music legends”.

They decided that 183 musicians would be paid for the role they played during apartheid. Only 53 of them were paid R50,000 each in 2016.

Speaking on eNCA, Motsoeneng denied that the money was taken from the public broadcaster as alleged by the SIU.

He said it was sourced from the private sector and the legal action taken by the SABC and SIU was a political ploy.

“I have been saying this is political because I am aware that all these politicians, especially those who are against me, are afraid that if they don’t tarnish my name I am going to emerge as one of the leaders of SA. People are afraid of me,” said Motsoeneng.

The SIU spoke to people who knew “nothing” about the funding of the artists. He said the funds went to “noble causes”.

“What is more important for me ... I don’t regret [and] I don’t apologise [for what I did]. Hlaudi has played his role and transformed that organisation [SABC]. I am proud. I will do it again today and tomorrow.”

Speaking on Power 98.7, Motsoeneng said people did not appreciate his work at the SABC and will only appreciate it when he is dead.

“I had to transform the SABC whether people liked it or not.

“SA will never change because we don’t have people like myself who are very decisive and have a caring heart. When you are a leader you must have a caring heart and [stop] the pain of those who are suffering. These artists, some of them were in hospitals and could not even pay for their medicine. I paid for their medicine.”

Social media users weighed in on Motsoeneng’s claims with some saying he was “delusional” and does not have “political opponents because his party failed”.

Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions.

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