Thursday, September 17, 2015

SABC pays out R42,6 million in golden handshakes the past 6 years to get rid of executives; enough for 26 415 annual SABC TV licence renewals.

The SABC has paid out R42,6 million in golden handshakes over the past 6 years to executives leaving the embattled South African public broadcaster - enough for 26 415 annual SABC TV licence renewals.

The country's public broadcaster has made it rain to the tune of R42,6 million in golden handshakes for executives leaving the SABC over the past 6 years, the minister of communications Faith Muthambi has revealed in parliament in reply to a question from the Democratic Alliance (DA).

Former SABC CEO Dali Mpofu was the biggest money getter - receiving a whopping severance pay-out totalling R6,7 million as well as an additional R4,4 million in a restraint of trade payment and an additional R2,1 million in legal fees, bringing the total to a massive R13,2 million golden handshake payout.

The former SABC CEO Lulama Mokhobo who abruptly quit without giving reasons less than a year (11 months) after taking over as the top executive at the beleaguered broadcaster was paid out a massive R5,6 million after not finishing her 5 year contract. It included a R4,2 million agreed separation payment and a R1,4 million restraint of trade payment.

Other SABC executives who got millions of rands from the public broadcaster to go away was the former SABC head of news Phil Molefe, paid R4,9 million to leave in 2013.

Phil Molefe was forced out says Gavin Davis, the DA's member of parliament and member of parliament's portfolio committee on communications, because he allegedly refused to bow to political pressure to blacklist Julius Malema from the airwaves.

The SABC's former acting chief operating officer (COO) Christine Mampane got R4,3 million and the former SABC CEO Solly Mokoetle took home R3,8 million.

Solly Mokoetle is now the head of South Africa's digital terrestrial television (DTT) migration project at the department of communications.

Others rolling in the money after leaving the SABC with golden handshakes include former SABC secretary Thelma Melk (R3 million), Zaiboonisha Jones (R1.7 million), Rapitse Montsho (R1.2 million), Jackie Motsepe (R882 000), Christopher David (R800 000) and Khulekelwe Mbonambi (R623 000).

"The amount paid to executives whose contracts are terminated prematurely averages out at R7 million per year. This is the equivalent of 26 415 annual TV licence renewals," says Gavin Davis in a statement.

"In virtually all of these cases, the executives receiving the payouts were purged for political reasons."

"As with other public entities, SABC executives are hired on the basis of their perceived loyalty to the dominant faction of the ANC instead of their ability to do the job. When deployed cadres fall out of political favour, they get dumped with a massive payout to soften the landing."

"This constant churn of deployed cadres is the reason why the SABC lurches from one crisis to the next," says Gavin Davis.

Even the ANC now acknowledges that there's a leadership crisis at the SABC. In its recent NGC discussion paper, the ANC says "the series of crises at the public broadcaster reflect a lack of leadership, lack of accountability and poor management."

The ANC says there's been a lack of "attention to holding those responsible to account for the financial and organisational maladministration that has brought the public broadcasting institution into crisis".