SABC executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng allegedly promised an extra R10 000 to each staff member as a “sweetener deal”, the Democratic Alliance claimed on Thursday.
The party’s communications spokeswoman and MP, Phumzile Van Damme, said they were reliably informed that he had announced the payment to staff on Wednesday.
She claimed he said: “I have found a sweetener for you, Hlaudi has found an extra R10 000 for you.”
The alleged payment was apparently for all staff except middle, senior and top management, totalling R32m, and would require board approval.
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago did not immediately respond to an enquiry on the veracity of these claims.
“It is quite clear that this ‘sweetener deal’ is nothing but an attempt for Motsoeneng to get SABC staff on his side as a last ditch attempt to save his hide,” said Van Damme.
She said the party would be submitting parliamentary questions to determine which budget this would come from, who approved it, and whether the board was involved.
“I will also write to the chair of the portfolio committee on communications, requesting that all legal matters be expedited so that the parliamentary inquiry into the SABC can begin in earnest.”
At the start of the month, board members Krish Naidoo and Vusi Mavuso announced their resignations at a meeting with parliament’s communications committee, effectively rendering the now four-member board defunct.
Their resignations followed the reappointment of Motsoeneng, the former chief operating officer, as general executive of corporate affairs.
President Jacob Zuma on Sunday said he had received and accepted the resignation of the two board members.
The committee resolved to institute the inquiry into the fitness of the SABC board on 5 October, but announced this week it would only be later this year.
Committee chairman Humphrey Maxegwana said it had been postponed after the committee sought legal advice on Tuesday.
He said the committee would take the advice they had received to abide by the rules of natural justice, and would now prepare for the hearing.
“The committee is committed to proceeding with the inquiry at its earliest convenience,” the statement read. “The inquiry is a due process to which the rules of natural justice apply.”
The SABC board would be served with notices of the hearing no later than 28 October.
The committee hoped to finalise the inquiry before the last sitting of the national assembly on 24 November this year.
Three of the remaining board members have told the committee they do not intend resigning, and would appear at the inquiry. The fourth has not yet responded.