The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has lodged a R21 million civil claim against former South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, but in response he has made a counterclaim of R16 million he believes is owed to him by the national broadcaster.
Sunday Times reports that Motsoeneng wants the money for his role in brokering a deal with MultiChoice.
The controversial deal, which included granting MultiChoice access to the SABC’s archives, earned R11 million for Motsoeneng personally in 2016, in what was described as a “success fee”.
The SIU wants him to pay this money as well as a further R10.2 million the publication reports is believed to have been spent on “irregular appointments, salary increments, suspensions and unlawful dismissals”, but Hlaudi is having none of it.
Rather, he argues he earned the SABC R1.19 billion through the deal, and that he is entitled to the compensation he received for his “innovation” as he negotiated the deal outside of his responsibilities as COO, through his “own ingenuity”.
The SABC approved the payment of the “success fee”, but he says it was negotiated as 2.5% of the R1.19 billion, less one million, and that he is therefore owed an additional R16 million.
Motsoeneng accused the SIU of being “busy with hearsay” as opposed to facts, refusing to comment further in the Sunday Times as the legal action surrounding the matter is ongoing.
Motsoeneng recently gave testimony at the Zondo commission of inquiry, where he admitted to not having passed matric, despite failing to do so at the age of 23.
Thuli Madonsela found in her 2014 report When Governance and Ethics Fails that he lied about having a matric certificate, and that his appointment as acting chief operating officer and his salary hike were both irregular.
At the commission, Motsoeneng said despite not having matric, he was not uneducated. He said he wanted to thank the SABC because, “I lecture at the universities. I wonder how many people are saying I am uneducated.
“Even at Wits Business School, I lecture and my lectures about leadership, they have turned them as part of their syllabus. Who said I am uneducated, chairperson?” Motsoeneng questioned.
Wits Business School, however, has denied that he ever lectured there, saying on Twitter: “Hlaudi Motsoeneng was invited to take part in a breakfast panel discussion at WBS on 6 Dec 2013. A guest speaker does not make an academic.
“At no stage has Mr Motsoeneng lectured at WBS, nor has any material authored by him formed part of the curriculum of any of our programmes.”
Motsoeneng also told the commission that there was no person that was “better than [him]” in the SABC.