Ask Hlaudi Motsoeneng about his plans for procurement at the SABC and he will tell you that he will be “unapologetic in driving transformation”.
Ask him about his trip to a broadcasting conference in Mauritius tomorrow and he will tell you it is money well spent.
But ask him about bonus payments he is said to have received, and Motsoeneng goes mum.
“I’m not going there. We are talking about employer and employee issues,” he said at a press conference yesterday, where his appointment as group executive of corporate affairs at the SABC was announced.
The Sunday Times reported this week that four independent sources claimed Motsoeneng had secretly been paid a R10-million bonus for brokering a suspect R570-million contract with MultiChoice.
Critics of the contract said it had cost the SABC R2-billion in potential revenue over five years.
Asked yesterday whether he could confirm he had been paid a bonus, how much, what it was for and what procedure had been followed in approving it, Motsoeneng said: “Don’t spoil the party.”
Yesterday, acting chief executive James Aguma announced that Motsoeneng would stay on at the SABC as head of corporate affairs, where a key function would be liaising with its provincial offices.
His post at corporate affairs will put him in a powerful position to influence procurement spending at the SABC’s provincial offices.
Procurement functions previously done at head office have been devolved to provincial managers.
Motsoeneng said he would be unapologetic in driving transformation in his new role.
Former incumbent Bessie Tugwana, who was only appointed on August 1, will be moved to a project management unit in Aguma’s office.
Last week, the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed Motsoeneng’s application for leave to appeal against a decision in the Cape Town High Court that found his appointment as chief operating officer (COO) was invalid and must be set aside.
However, SABC chairman Mbulaheni Maguvhe stressed that the high court judgment said Motsoeneng could apply for any position at the SABC, including COO, as long as it was done lawfully.
Motsoeneng confirmed he would apply for the COO post “like any citizen” when it was advertised.