SABC spent R680,000 for bosses to hang out in Cape Town

25 April 2018 - 07:49 By Timeslive
Mbulaheni Maguvhe was called to testify before the SABC parliamentary ad hoc committee.
Mbulaheni Maguvhe was called to testify before the SABC parliamentary ad hoc committee.
Image: Esa Alexander

The SABC spent more than R680‚000 on the travel costs of board members and officials to testify before a parliamentary ad hoc committee‚ only for some to refuse to testify once they got there.

This is according to a reply to a Democratic Alliance parliamentary question.

The SABC paid over R20‚000 on flights and accommodation for former COO‚ Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ and more than R31‚000 on the travel costs of former CEO‚ James Aguma.

Some of the other estimated travel costs the SABC covered‚ include:

• R183‚000 for former SABC chairman‚ Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe;

• R100‚000 for former SABC company secretary‚ Theresa Geldenhuys; and

• R34‚000 for SABC company secretary‚ Lindiwe Bayi.

Some of the hotels the officials stayed at include the five-star African Pride Crystal Towers and the Hilton Hotel in Cape Town.

In the parliamentary reply‚ the financially distressed SABC stated that it would not recover these monies from individuals who did not attend the inquiry.

"This means that the public essentially footed the bill for a luxury holiday in Cape Town for people who destroyed a once world-class public broadcaster‚" said the DA's Phumzile van Damme.

The Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers‚ formerly the African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa‚ boasts a convenient Century City location‚ with "sophisticated guest rooms and suites" and perks like complimentary Wi-Fi‚ plush bedding and 24-hour room service. The Hilton Hotel markets its location‚ which is close to parliament‚ the convention centre and the V&A Waterfront.

Van Damme said her party would write to the chairperson of the SABC Board‚ Bongumusa Makhathini‚ to request that the SABC recoup the costs from all individuals who travelled to Cape Town for the SABC inquiry but refused to testify‚ or walked out.

"The SABC is facing financial ruin and every cent that has been unduly spent . . . must be returned to the public broadcaster‚" she added.