SABC COO R2 million bribe claim: report

Controversial SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng faces a fresh claim by a former SABC HR officer that he offered to pay her R2 million to lie about knowing that he had no qualifications.

This is according to a report by the City Press, citing the Democratic Alliance, who quoted a court affidavit it said was filed at the Western Cape High Court.

Motsoeneng is at the centre of a qualifications controversy at the public broadcaster, after the South African Public Protector’s investigation into the group revealed widespread corruption and mismanagement.

Amongst the findings, it was revealed that Motsoeneng had lied about his qualifications, with the final report recommending his dismissal from the broadcaster.

In response to the report, a number of powerful figures rallied behind the then acting COO, including Communications Minister Faith Muthabi – who subsequently appointed Motsoeneng as the official COO – and SABC chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, who maintained that the SABC board knew that Motsoeneng did not have any qualifications, and said that he was head-hunted for the position.

Tshabalala is also under investigation over her apparent lack of qualifications.

According to the City Press report, former SABC HR officer Mari Swanapoel has made allegations that in the wake of the Public Protector’s report, Motsoeneng asked her to help him keep his job by lying about knowing that he had no qualifications at the time of his appointment.

He reportedly used another ongoing case involving Swanapoel as leverage for the deal, saying he could organise to have her claim in that case paid out.

Swanapoel said it would be R2 million, and Motsoeneng allegedly said it could be organised – but only if she would make a statement saying she knew he did not have qualifications at the time he was hired.

Swanapoel declined the offer, and in the affidavit denied that she knew of Motsoeneng’s lack of qualifications, noting “matric outstanding” on his file at the time.

The DA launched court action against Motsoeneng’s appointment in August 2014 at the Western Cape High Court. The action resulted in an order that he be suspended with full pay. He is currently appealing the order.

You can read the full report in today’s edition of the City Press (9 November 2014)

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SABC COO R2 million bribe claim: report