24 April 2018

South Africa: SABC Spent Over Half a Million On Travel Costs for Officials to Testify, or Not, Before SABC Inquiry

press release

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

The SABC spent more than R680 000 on the travel costs of board members and officials who were supposed to testify before the Ad Hoc Committee on SABC Board Inquiry, some of whom refused to testify, referring to it as a "kangaroo court".

This is according to a reply to a DA Parliamentary question.

The SABC forked out over R20 000 on flights and accommodation for former COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and more than R31 000 on the travel costs of former CEO, James Aguma.

Some of the other estimated travel costs the SABC covered, include:

R183 000 for former SABC Chairman, Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe;

R100 000 for former SABC company secretary, Theresa Geldenhuys; and

R34 000 for SABC company secretary, Lindiwe Bayi

Some of the hotels the officials stayed at include the five-star African Pride Crystal Towers and the Hilton Hotel in Cape Town. Clearly, no expense was spared for these extended hotel stays.

In the reply, the financially distressed SABC stated that it would not recover these monies from individuals who did not attend the Inquiry. This means that the public essentially footed the bill for a luxury holiday in Cape Town for people who destroyed a once world-class public broadcaster.

The DA will write to the Chairperson of the SABC Board, Bongumusa Makhathini, to request that the SABC recoup the costs from all individuals who travelled to Cape Town for the SABC Inquiry, but refused to testify, or walked out. The SABC must recover the monies to individuals who brought the public broadcaster to its knees.

The SABC is facing financial ruin and every cent that has been unduly spent on compromised individuals must be returned to the public broadcaster.

Phumzile Van Damme MP

DA Shadow Minister of Communications

South Africa

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