/ 26 May 2016

SABC spends millions on Hlaudi praise singers

The 2006 forensic report prepared for Zuma's trial that never saw the light of day ... now made available in the public interest.
The outcome of the ANC’s long-awaited KwaZulu-Natal conference was a win for the Thuma Mina crowd. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

JOHANNESBURG, May 26 (ANA) – The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has spent R6,7 million on its own in-house choir in just two years, and will spend a further R3,7 million next year, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Thursday.

The DA said the information was garnered from a parliamentary question the party had asked.

“According to the reply, R3,745 million and R 3,780 million has been budgeted for the SABC choir for the 2015/16, and 2016/17 financial years respectively. In 2014/15, R3 million was spent,” said DA member of parliament, Phumzile Van Damme, in a statement.

“The DA last year revealed that the SABC choir sings songs in praise of SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, in staff meetings with the lyrics “Hlaudi Motsoeneng reya o leboha” (Hlaudi Motsoeneng we thank you).”

Van Damme said in her reply Communications Minister Faith Muthambi “claims that the choir no longer sings these songs, the DA has it on good authority that the choir continues to do so, and did so as recently as last month”.

The DA called for the disbandment of the choir as a means of cutting unnecessary costs at the SABC.

“It makes absolutely no sense for the SABC to have an in-house choir, particularly if it exists to inflate Mr Motsoeneng’s ego. There are plenty of talented choirs in South Africa that can be commissioned by the SABC should the need arise,” said Van Damme.

“The choir is not the only body at the SABC forced to sing Mr Motseoeneng’s praises, SABC stations have been instructed to play on high rotation a song by Mzwakhe Mbuli and other local artists praising Motsoeneng for his 90% local content decision. The DA will submit parliamentary questions to determine the costs associated with commissioning this song.”

As the public broadcaster, the SABC exists to serve the interests of all South Africans, and should not be Motsoeneng’s personal “piggybank and fiefdom”, said Van Damme.

“he DA will continue to exercise vigorous oversight over the SABC’s spending to ensure that every cent it spends, is spent to the benefit of South Africa.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

Disclaimer: This story is pulled directly from the African News Agency wire, and has not been edited by Mail & Guardian staff. The M&G does not accept responsibility for errors in any statement, quote or extract that may be contained therein.