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SABC vs Hlaudi Motsoeneng: The Payback Battle Takes a Major Turn

SCA grants hlaudi motsoeneng to challenge the SABC and SIU's decision

The Supreme Court of Appeal granted Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the former COO of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the right to contest the decision of the corporation and the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to require him to repay the millions of rands in bonuses he received from the public broadcaster. The SCA decided to change its mind about its initial ruling.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation board of directors awarded Motsoeneng an R11 million fee in 2016, but the Joburg High Court later ruled that this was illegal and invalid, and he was required to pay it back to the public broadcaster.

hlaudi motsoeneng former sabc coo

By the time interest is taken into account, the total amount that he is required to repay has increased to R18 million.

In return for Motsoeneng’s assistance in negotiating a deal with MultiChoice regarding broadcast rights, which included access to the corporation’s archives, the previous board of directors of the South African Broadcasting Corporation agreed to pay him the sum.

He had previously claimed there was nothing wrong with him receiving a “success fee.”

Motsoeneng filed an appeal against the decision that the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the South African Broadcasting Corporation Pension Fund, and the SABC had made to require him to repay the broadcaster millions of rands.

outside view appeal court in bloemfontein

On January 23, the Supreme Court of Appeal rejected Motsoeneng’s request for authorization to appeal. Also evaluated were the costs.

However, the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned its judgment and mandated that the lower court reevaluate Motsoeneng’s request for leave to appeal.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s argument against the SABC & SIU

In his replying affidavit, which we have already seen, Motsoeneng asserts that the South African Broadcasting Corporation paid him R6.7 million and that it also paid the South African Revenue Service (Sars) R4.7 million.

In his defence, the judge claimed that the order requiring him to “pay the SABC the monies paid to Sars was unfounded in both fact and law and was unjust and ought to be varied.”

“I contend that the court’s assessment of a just and equitable remedy in accordance with the requirements of Section 172 of the Constitution was seriously misguided in this case. The court disregarded this element. Another illustration of the severe injustice that I have experienced as a result of this situation is the fact that the High Court, in its attempt to formulate a just and equitable remedy, required me to pay interest on the money that I had already been ordered to pay. This covers both the interest that grew on the cash the broadcaster paid to Sars and the interest that grew on the cash they paid to me.

I had no idea about this. The South African Broadcasting Corporation has recovered money from employees in the past, but the organization has never requested interest. Even though the corporation made the illegal decision to pay me, it is now attempting to collect interest from me. What kind of remedy could something like this possibly be, either just or equitable? He stated the following in his affidavit, which was submitted on March 10: “This is what this court missed, and which warrants a reconsideration.”

SABC building

With permission to appeal the ruling, Hlaudi Motsoeneng claimed that his chances of success with his request had improved. He claimed that he held this view.

READ MORE: For computers and laptops, South African Broadcasting Corporation is now requesting TV license fees

“If there had been no chance that I would win my appeal, if there had been any chance at all, the Supreme Court of Appeal could not have reconsidered its decision to grant me leave to appeal.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation made the choice to pay me, and I played no part in the decision-making at all.

We have never asked the government for help in any way in the time I have worked at the broadcaster. “I have been against this thing of the corporation going to ask for bailouts,” he declared. “I have been against the public broadcaster seeking bailouts in this matter.” “South African Broadcasting Corporation and SIU are going to lose their case against me because they do not have any evidence against me,” the defendant declared.

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