NEWS & ANALYSIS

Dali Mpofu to receive R13,4m from SABC

Broadcaster pays out former CEO for contract, legal costs and restraint of trade agreement

Interim Board of the SABC and former GCEO resolve impasse between the two parties, August 14 2009

The Interim Board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and Advocate Dali Mpofu, have reached an amicable agreement to resolve the longstanding impasse between the two parties.  Both parties agree that the resolution of this issue is key to facilitating the process of stabilising the public broadcaster.

In terms of the settlement, the former Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) has agreed to withdraw all pending legal actions against the Corporation related to the ongoing labour disputes arising from his suspensions from office and termination of employment by the former Board.  The SABC will in turn pay Adv Mpofu all moneys contractually due to him, as well as cover legal costs he has incurred as a result of the protracted labour disputes between him and the public broadcaster.

The Chairperson of the Interim Board, Irene Charnley, has emphasised that the agreement reached is an important step forward in stabilising the Corporation.

"Both Advocate Mpofu and the Interim Board agree that ongoing costly legal battles are not in the interests of public broadcasting in South Africa," she said in a statement.  "We want to thank Adv Mpofu for the co-operative spirit in which he has approached these negotiations."

The two parties have also entered into a Restraint of Trade Agreement in order to safeguard the SABC's protectable interests for an agreed to period.

SETTLEMENT DETAILS

The settlement agreement between the SABC and Adv Mpofu relates to:

"Contractual obligations between the parties (R6 738 160.34). This is calculated on the Total Cost to Company package for the remainder of Adv Mpofu's contract as agreed by previous Board plus an additional amount of R900 055 which is legally due to him.

"The legal costs resulting from the previous Board's decision to suspend Adv Mpofu (R2.1m) to be paid to his attorneys. This includes punitive costs awarded against the SABC by courts. The agreement to pay such fees has been taken in due consideration of the additional legal fees the SABC would have faced in defending the outstanding court actions.

RESTRAINT OF TRADE

The Interim Board further believes that it is prudent to enter into a Restraint of Trade Agreement with Advocate Mpofu to safeguard the SABC's protectable interests.

The Restraint of Trade payment related to this is based on the potential loss of earnings arising from restrictions placed on Adv Mpofu.  An amount of R4.4m has been agreed on, and the Department of Communications has agreed to compensate the SABC in full for such payment.

CONCLUSION

In announcing the agreement reached, Ms Charnley, stated that the resolution of the impasse was an important step forward for the SABC.

"The Board is pleased that this long standing dispute with Adv Mpofu has been amicably resolved and is now behind us.  The next permanent Board should be able to find an organisation focused on serving the public again.  We wish to thank Adv Mpofu for his contribution to building the SABC and we are confident that Adv Mpofu will excel in whatever he chooses to undertake next."

IRENE CHARNLEY

Chairperson: SABC Interim Board

Source: www.sabc.co.za

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