A Gauteng television sales account executive at the SABC was allegedly paid a multimillion-rand settlement after he was suspended last year.
It has been reliably established that the advertising executive, Elijah Padi, was paid out R3,3m over a 60-month period in the separation agreement, which was signed in May 2015.
SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng signed off on the agreement.
Sources with inside information said Padi was suspended over a training programme which he had not attended. He was allegedly charged with insubordination, amongst other infringements.
The settlement was bound by confidentiality clauses, according to which neither party was allowed to disclose what had taken place.
Padi denied that any kind of agreement had been reached.
“That is not true. I would have loved to have got R3,3m. I just resigned because my job wasn’t working out,” Padi said.
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago had not replied to media queries on the alleged payout at the time of publishing.
Last month it was reported that the broadcaster’s previous CEO, Frans Matlala, had agreed to settle with his former employer for R18m. This was one day before he was due to appear before a disciplinary committee after he was suspended in November last year, and four months into his five-year contract.
Democratic Alliance spokeswoman Phumzile Van Damme said they would be demanding confirmation that the settlement was reached.
Van Damme said if there had not been a good enough reason to suspend Matlala, the money spent on the settlement agreement could amount to wasteful and fruitless expenditure according to the Public Finance Management Act.
Van Damme said this could be grounds for dismissal of the SABC’s accounting authority, which was the SABC board.
Golden handshakes at the SABC are not new. However, if the amounts of Matlala’s and Padi’s payouts are correct, the sums being paid have escalated dramatically over the last few months.
In September last year, the communications department said in a reply to a DA parliamentary question that the SABC had paid R42,6m over six years to prematurely terminate former executives’ contracts.
The reply revealed the biggest handshake was given to former SABC chief executive Dali Mpofu in 2009. He was paid R6,7m in an “agreed separation”. Mpofu got an additional R4,4m as part of a restraint of trade agreement and R2,1m in legal fees.
Former CEO Lulama Mokhobo, who left the SABC in 2014, was paid R5,6m; former news and current affairs boss Phil Molefe was paid R4,9m in 2013 after falling out with Mokhobo for flighting an extensive television interview with Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema; acting chief operating officer Charlotte Mampane was given R4,3m in 2012; and CEO Solly Mokoetle was paid R3,8m in 2011.