Former SABC chairperson Ellen Tshabalala received more than R1.3 million during her 22-month tenure, and she must pay this back as it was ill-gotten money, said the Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday.
It was revealed in a reply to a DA parliamentary question Tshabalala received over a million rand from the SABC Board, and around R272 000 from meetings with committees during her tenure at the public broadcaster.
Tshabalala resigned as the SABC chairperson in December after it was revealed she lied about her qualifications.
A parliamentary communications committee subsequently found Tshabalala guilty of misconduct and lying under oath.The committee uncovered that Tshabalala did not complete the degrees from the University of South Africa (Unisa) listed on her CV. The committee found she lied in the sworn affidavit submitted to Parliament in lieu of her academic records.
Tshabalala had claimed in the affidavit she could not provide her qualification certificates as they had been stolen in a burglary.
“If Tshabalala had been honest about her lack of qualifications, she would not have been appointed SABC Chairperson in the first place. If she had not been appointed, she would not have been paid R 1.3 million,” said DA MP Gavin Davis.
“This is not just a moral argument. It is SABC policy that any money accruing to an individual as a result of a wrongful act must be paid back.”
According to Davis, this is set out on page 67 of last year’s SABC Annual Report, which states: “The SABC shall take appropriate steps, including legal action, to recover any losses from fraudulent and/or corrupt activities or any other wrongful act.”
Davis said the SABC needs to close this chapter by enforcing its own policy.
“The people of South Africa were rightly sickened when it emerged that Tshabalala had lied about her qualifications. The least the SABC can do is force her to pay back the money,” he said.