SABC’s Ellen Tshabalala Not just under-qualified, but overpaid too - DA

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - OCTOBER 1, 2014

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday accused South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, of not only being under-qualified but of being overpaid as well.

This comes after the SABC’s Annual Report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday revealed that Tshabalala was paid nearly R1 million last year - almost double the amount paid to her predecessor.

“In 2013/14 Ms Tshabalala was paid R936 000 for chairing just 34 SABC Board meetings and attending 36 Board committee meetings – an average of R13 371 per meeting.

“The previous SABC Chairperson, Dr Ben Ngubane, earned R 521 000 in the same 12-month period the previous year,” Gavin Davis, DA Shadow Minister of Communications said in a statement.

Details of Tshabalala’s earnings come after evidence surfaced that she lied to Parliament about her qualifications when she applied to be an SABC Board member.

“Not only does it look like Ms Tshabalala is under qualified, she is overpaid as well,” Davis said.

“R936 000 is a huge amount to be paid for a part-time job.

Tshabalala also serves on several other Boards, including the President’s Advisory Council on Broad-Based BEE; Sishen Iron Ore Company; Transnet Limited – SOC; Transnet Foundation; Cape Empowerment Limited; Ascension Properties; Port Shepstone Harbour Development Company and the Moral Regeneration Movement.

On 14 October, she is due to appear before the Communications Portfolio Committee to answer allegations that she lied when she told Parliament she had a BCom and Diploma from UNISA.

If it is found that she lied about her qualifications, Tshabalala may be liable to pay back the R936 000 and any other money paid to her during her tenure as SABC Chairperson.

This is according to the SABC’s own fraud and corruption policy from last year’s Annual Report which states that:

“The SABC shall take appropriate steps, including legal action, to recover any losses from fraudulent and/or corrupt activities or any other wrongful act. This may include action against third parties involved in fraudulent and/or corrupt activities or any other wrongful act, or whose negligent actions contributed to such acts.”

“The DA will continue working to ensure that  Tshabalala answers for the allegations levelled against her and faces the consequences,” Davis said.

“We need to send a signal to the SABC Board that proximity to powerful politicians will not be enough to protect them if they commit fraud and corruption.”

Photo caption: UNDER SCRUTINY... The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday accused South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, of not only being under-qualified but of being overpaid as well.