SABC has no money to pay legal fees owed to the DA for Hlaudi cases

Issued by Phumzile Van Damme MP – DA Shadow Minister of Communications
14 Aug 2018 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by the DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile Van Damme MP.

The SABC’s lawyers have informed the Democratic Alliance (DA) that the public broadcaster cannot pay the full outstanding amounts due to the DA as per the cost orders awarded, pursuant to litigation which it lost, as “they are not in the position to pay the full amount at this time”. The costs relate to various cases it defended to keep Hlaudi Motsoeneng employed at the SABC.

In total, the SABC owes the DA approximately R1.7 million for costs related to Mr Motsoeneng’s litigation.

The correspondence between the SABC’s legal team and the DA comes on the heels of other letters the public broadcaster was forced to send to its service providers and producers stating that it would not be able to pay them for the month of July.

The fact that the SABC is unable to pay its bills and its outstanding legal fees is a clear indication that the public broadcaster is on the verge of insolvency.

In the public interest, the DA will consider a payment plan for the SABC to pay back the money owed and has invited the SABC to come with a suitable proposal.

It is no secret that the SABC’s financial distress stems from the years of political interference, financial mismanagement, maladministration and corruption. It was particularly during Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s tenure at the public broadcaster that SABC was almost sent over the edge.

From the outset, the DA held that he was not fit for office . That is why the DA fought to have Mr Motsoeneng’s toxic influence removed from the public broadcaster. The SABC knew this as well, but continued to engage in endless litigation to protect Mr Motsoeneng.

The DA maintains that the SABC should hold Hlaudi personally liable for the frivolous legal battles he dragged the broadcaster in and which he purposefully prolong at the expense of the taxpayer.

The SABC should get back to the business of informing and entertaining the public and restoring its image as a world-class public broadcaster.