Motsoeneng: I deserved bigger kickbacks for rescuing SABC, MultiChoice deal

Hlaudi Motsoeneng maintained he negotiated the best deal for the SABC with MultiChoice and deserved the kickbacks he received for raising funds as COO.

FILE: Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng at state capture commission on 10 September 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Former South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng concluded his testimony at the state capture commission on Thursday and reiterated that that was the first time he was treated with respect.

Motsoeneng was expected to take the stand for only a day but he spent three days in the witness seat.

He maintained he negotiated the best deal for the SABC with MultiChoice and deserved the kickbacks he received for raising funds as COO.

The state capture commission has decided to fine Marie Swanepoel.

She's the HR official who allegedly failed to accurately reflect that Motsoeneng doesn't have a matric.

But all eyes were on the multimillion-rand deal with MultiChoice that Motsoeneng said he single-handedly rescued.

“Those two channels is R700 million over five years. Also, what I negotiated is that SABC should not pay for transmitters. So, MultiChoice pays for the transmitters even in Africa.”

He said he didn't expect to be paid for deals that cut costs, but the kickbacks he received for raising money were nowhere near what he deserved.

The former SABC COO said it was correct that he received R10 million: “I think they still owe me more than that amount.”

Motsoeneng is expected to return to the commission at a later date.


Motsoeneng said what some call irregular expenditure during his tenure was decisions for the benefit of the organisation.

He said he deviated from procedures to make sure that the SABC procured state of the art studios, reacted swiftly to broadcast matches and paid staff.

The Special Investigating Unit has taken Motsoeneng to court, but he stands by his decisions.

“People said we didn’t follow procurement processes, there are issues that you must test in the interest of the organisation and the public because this irregular expenditure and so on does not mean that people have chowed money. Irregular means that you broadcasted Bafana Bafana without a contract.”

He said his decision to recruit chief financial officer James Aguma ensured the SABC was on top of compliance.

“In the first year, he improved governance issues from 8 to 3 qualifications. When I left the SABC in 2016, we were having one qualification.”

Motsoeneng has defended another controversial decision payment of R10,000 to 300 employees instead of a pay rise demanded by unions.

He said he was popular with staff and unions knew this, so they didn’t want to address staff in his presence because they knew he would win.