The DA believes SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng lied to Parliament about the SABS’s finances and wants him to answer for it before the Communications Portfolio Committee.

The SABC Annual Report tabled in Parliament indicates that the SABC suffered a R395-million loss in the 2014/15 financial year.

Gavin Davis, shadow minister of communications, says this contradicts Motsoeneng’s statement before the Communications Portfolio Committee on 22 April 2015, where he said: “The SABC, financially, we are sustainable.”

At the time, Davis points out, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi agreed. “The SABC is on a sound financial footing,” she told the committee.

“Significantly, neither Muthambi nor Motsoeneng mentioned the SABC’s projected loss for this financial year,” says Davis

“This was despite the existence of internal SABC financial documents dated March 2015 (later exposed by the Sunday Times) that indicated the SABC was due to make a massive loss.”

He points out that the loss of R395-million in the 2014/15 financial year compares with the R358-million the SABC recorded as profit in the previous financial year. “This means that, under Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s watch, the SABC’s finances have taken a R753-million nose-dive.

“Yet, in the same period, Motsoeneng received a R916 000 pay-rise to R 3,7-million,” Davis says.

He believes that lying to Parliament constitutes fraud and, as such, is a criminal offence.

“I have written to the Chairperson of the Communications Portfolio Committee, Joyce Moloi-Moropa, to request that Hlaudi Motsoeneng be summoned to account for misleading Parliament.

“In the meantime, I have also written to the Public Protector to request an investigation into Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s salary increase, as revealed in the SABC’s Annual Report.

“The fact is that Hlaudi Motsoeneng is being handsomely rewarded while the SABC lurches from one crisis to the next. Motsoeneng must be held to account for his exorbitant salary increases, the SABC’s financial losses under his watch, and the lies that he has told in Parliament.”