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SABC hit by internal scandal

February 15, 2024

By Chris Forrester

South Africa’s public broadcaster SABC has seen three executives resign or be suspended with allegations of being involved in a “secret” contract which gave them a profit share related to the launch of SABC+.

SABC COO Ian Plaatjes, group executive for video entertainment Merlin Naicker, and group executive for sales Reginald Nxumalo, allegedly concealed a profit share clause from SABC executive committee members during their presentation when the SABC+ deal was approved last year, according to local reports.

Plaatjes and Naicker have both been suspended and Nxumalo resigned from their posts.

SABC+ was the broadcasters streaming service launched in conjunction with Telkom.

According to local reports, law firm Werkmans said the three staff members deliberately concealed the crucial information from the SABC executive committee during a presentation. The law firm reportedly said the business plan presented to the SABC’s executive committee during a meeting on November 7th 2022 stipulated that the SABC would get 100 per cent of the revenue generated by SABC+, which used to be Telkom One.

“The committee approved this proposal, but then the SABC’s legal division picked up and queried the appearance of the 7.5 per cent advertising revenue-sharing clause on November 16th 2022 during the contract drafting process,” said the law firm.

At the least, the legal opinion was that their failure to act in the best interests of the SABC had broken trust.

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