The SABC has paid out golden handshakes to four top executives since last year‚ a reply to a Democratic Alliance parliamentary question has revealed‚ the party says.
The out of court settlements‚ including to former GCEO‚ Frans Matlala‚ revealed what appeared to be a purge of senior staff who had either spoken out‚ or commissioned reports about corruption at the SABC‚ DA spokesperson on communications Phumzile Van Damme said.
She added that the DA would submit an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to get full disclosure of the amounts paid off to the senior executives should this not be disclosed in the SABC’s annual report due to be released later this month.
According to the reply‚ since April 2015‚ the SABC has paid out of court settlements to:
– GCEO‚ Frans Matlala (suspended for allegedly co-operating with National Treasury looking into a R40m SABC studio ordered by Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ which was never put out to tender);
– Head of Internal Audit‚ Lorraine Francois (suspended for commissioning an investigation and compiling a report on the SABC’s corporate governance operations. She was reinstated after the SABC failed to prove allegations of misconduct against her);
– Head of Technology‚ Sipho Masinga (suspended for compiling a report about the dilapidated state of SABC infrastructure. His report noted that poor infrastructure was “aggravated by the appointment of incompetent persons who place moratoriums on maintenance and investments in new technology”);
– Head of Legal Services‚ Mbulu Nepfumbada (reasons for the settlement unclear).
“The SABC continues to be plagued by endless issues including financial mismanagement‚ staff purges and issues of censorship‚ under the watch and with the support of Communications Minister‚ Faith Muthambi‚” said Van Damme.
She said staff who spoke out against this were suspended or fired‚ often without following due legal process. Out of court settlements were often reached‚ so that the SABC did not have to answer for its actions during litigation.
“The DA will‚ without fear or favour‚ continue to fight for the SABC to be brought out of the red into the black.
“With the right leadership and proper financial management‚ the SABC can be the public broadcaster we can all be proud of‚” Van Damme added.