Hlaudi Motsoeneng is demanding a whopping R16 million “success fee” from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
The former SABC chief operating officer (COO) is making the claim in a counter lawsuit against the state broadcaster, Sunday Times reports.
R21.8 million claim
SABC and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) have taken Motsoeneng to court to recover R21.8 million from him.
They want him to repay R11.6 million “success fee” SABC controversially paid him in 2016.
The fee was an apparent reward to him for negotiating a broadcasting rights agreement with MultiChoice.
According to the report, the then SABC board approved this payment. Two former board members could face prosecution as a result.
SABC and SIU also want Motsoeneng to pay the state broadcaster another R10.2 million.
This is the amount SABC reportedly lost on irregular appointments, suspensions, dismissals and salary increases.
R16 million counterclaim
However, Motsoeneng has responded to the civil claim with a counterclaim of his own at the Johannesburg High Court.
He claims SABC still owes him R16 million because the R11.6 million he received was only part of the “success fee.”
In his court papers, the ex-COO claims his “ingenuity” and “business innovation” earned SABC R1.19 billion in profit.
According to him, the SABC board calculated his “success fee” at 2.5% of the R1.19 billion, less R1 million. He contends that this decision is binding on SABC.
Controversy dogs Motsoeneng
Motsoeneng’s tenure as SABC COO was a controversial one and it continues to haunt him to this day.
In 2014, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that he had misrepresented his matric qualifications to the SABC.
She further found that he had increased his own annual salary from R1.5m to R2.4m in just a year and had purged senior staff.
This led to his suspension and subsequent dismissal from SABC in 2017 after several court challenges.
A recent commission of inquiry into editorial interference in SABC found a “culture of fear” at the state broadcaster during Motsoeneng’s term.
The commission recommended that his instructions to human resource to discipline certain staff members be reviewed.
Veteran journalist Dr Joe Thloloe chaired the commission.
During his recent appearance at the state capture commission of inquiry, Motsoeneng defended his tenure, accusing the media of “discrediting him.”