SABC golden handshakes hit R42m – Gavin Davis

Even the ANC admits there is a leadership crisis at the SABC, says DA MP

SABC pays out R42 million in golden handshakes

17 September 2015

In a reply to a parliamentary question, Minister Faith Muthambi has revealed that the SABC paid executives R42 605 000 in golden handshakes over the last six years.

The amount paid to executives whose contracts are terminated prematurely averages out at R 7 million per year. This is the equivalent of 26 415 annual TV licence renewals.

The five biggest golden handshakes were paid to:

-Former SABC CEO Dali Mpofu. He received a golden handshake of R13.2 million, after he fell out with the SABC Board.

-Former CEO Lulama Mokhobo. She was paid out R5.6 million following months of bullying and verbal abuse at the hands of COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Mokhobo completed just 11 months of her 5-year contract.

-Former Head of News Phil Molefe. He was paid R4.9 million to resign in 2013, allegedly because he had refused to bow to pressure from the Zuma faction to blacklist Julius Malema.

-Former Acting COO Christine Mampane. She received R4.3 million after Hlaudi Motsoeneng requested the SABC Board to remove her in 2012.

-Former CEO Solly Mokoetle. He was paid out R3.8 million after an "irretrievable breakdown" with the SABC Board led to his resignation in 2011. Mokoetle has now resurfaced as the Head of the Digital Migration Programme in Minister Muthambi’s office.

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.

Even the ANC acknowledges that there is a leadership crisis at the SABC. As it wrote in its recently published NGC discussion paper:

The series of crises at the public broadcaster reflect a lack of leadership, lack of accountability and poor management. In confronting the crisis more emphasis has been placed on reporting processes without a corresponding attention to holding those responsible to account for the financial and organizational maladministration that has brought the public broadcasting institution into crisis.”

It is time the ANC realised that, if it wants to stabilise the SABC, it must abolish its policy of cadre deployment and start hiring people based on their ability to do the job. If it does not, our TV licences will continue to be spent on multi-million rand golden handshakes. 

Statement issued by Gavin Davis, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, 17 September 2015