The SABC interim board’s bid to recoup money from former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng will fail, his lawyer Zola Majavu told News24 on Wednesday.

“We wrote to the pension fund to find out if it was possible for the SABC to take away his pension. They wrote back saying that this can only be done through the courts,” Majavu said.

On Tuesday, SABC interim board chair Khanyisile Kweyama told Parliament’s communications committee that the board would go after all of Motsoeneng’s assets to recoup its funds.

“Whatever is tangible that you can hold of,” she said.

She said the board had instituted legal proceedings to recover money allegedly wasted by mismanagement, from Motsoeneng and former CFO James Aguma.

In addition, the board had decided to withdraw the court application to review former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s February 2014 report about the SABC, “When Governance and Ethics Fail”,  in which she made damning findings against Motsoeneng.

“The board is currently considering the institution of criminal charges against those employees who allegedly participated in criminal activity,” she said.

Motsoeneng’s dismissal was announced on June 12, after he was found guilty of misconduct for statements he made at a press conference on April 19.
Aguma resigned on July 19, as disciplinary proceedings were being instituted.

The investigations into mismanagement at the SABC are still in limbo. President Jacob Zuma has yet to sign the proclamation to allow the Special Investigating Unit to investigate what Parliament’s ad hoc committee called “questionable” contracts the SABC signed with service providers.

The SIU had been ready to begin its investigation since May, Kweyama said.

Earlier this year, the National Assembly adopted a report by the ad hoc committee that investigated the SABC board. It laid bare widespread mismanagement.

Kweyama told News24 that the SIU had asked Zuma, through the justice department, to sign the proclamation.

Majavu is representing Motsoeneng in the case of unfair dismissal he has taken to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

On Tuesday, the SABC and Motsoeneng failed to reach an agreement during conciliation at the CCMA. The case would now go to arbitration, Majavu said.

Motsoeneng told News24 that the SABC’s allegations were preparing him for the future.

“To be a leader you must go through tests. So far so good,” he said.

In June, the SABC interim board told MPs it had cancelled a contract with the New Age to host its breakfast briefings.

In May, MPs on Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts said the SABC’s contract with auditors SekelaXabiso was irregular. The SABC had hired the company to investigate irregular spending. – News24