The deal was allegedly put together by former SABC COO “Cloudy” Hlaudi Motsoeneng last year. The report says the studio deal, which was originally meant to supply the SABC with a ‘multipurpose set and studio’ for 2015’s Rugby World Cup – was approved two days after the ANC said Motsoeneng should be fired.
MyBroadband.co.za reports senior SABC officials, including former CEO Frans Matlala, objected to the deal in 2015, and were subsequently suspended. Part of their objections included the fact that the deal never went out to tender and procurement officials had not signed off on it. Approval for the deal was stalled until this year.
The report stated that the company benefiting from the deal, Vision View, demanded payment up front.
Now a purchase order of R43.9 million has been approved for a “multipurpose set and studio” – with the same specifications as the original Rugby World Cup studio plan. But this time Vision View only asked for 50% of the money up front.
Sources apparently says Motsoeneng was the man behind the original studio deal, which he “orchestrated” as COO but Motsoeneng has repeatedly denied he was involved. SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said he was “not aware of that specific payment” to Vision View.
Meanwhile the Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomed the judgement handed down by the Western Cape High Court, which should ensure that Motsoeneng faces the music of a legitimate disciplinary inquiry.
The party says Motsoeneng’s attempt at delaying the inevitable was found by the Court to be a patent abuse of the court process and not in the public interest. An independent and impartial disciplinary inquiry into Motsoeneng’s fitness to hold office must be re-established.
The DA says the inquiry should:
– Be presided over by a new and independent chairperson;
– Be commenced within 14 days of this order and for it to be completed within 60 days;
Be open to the public;
– Seek the suspension of Mr Motsoeneng pending the outcome of such an inquiry for any other interim measure would be a failure in due process.
The DA says Motsoeneng, “aided and abetted by a dysfunctional SABC Board and the Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, has for too long gotten his way, while at the same time undermining the Public Protector, the Judiciary and the people of South Africa”.
For this inquiry to be legitimate, the chairperson of the inquiry needs to ensure that:
– Key witnesses are called to provide evidence in relation to Mr Motsoneneg’s gross misconduct;
– The Public Protector’s report entitled When Governance and Ethics Fail must be thoroughly engaged given that it is the basis of the inquiry; and
– Judgements by the Western Cape High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) are duly engaged as these assert that Mr Motsoeneng is in fact not a fit and proper person and that his permanence at the SABC is irrational on its face and should be set aside.