It turns out that the SABC has been bankrolling ANN7's breakfast briefings after all. Business Day reported on Wednesday that former SABC acting CEO Phil Molefe corroborated evidence showing that the public broadcaster paid up to R1 million for an episode of The New Age's (TNA's) Morning Live breakfast shows.
In Molefe's response to the parliamentary ad hoc committee's draft report on the SABC crisis, he said the SABC covered the cost of flights, accommodation and food for production staff when the briefings took place outside Johannesburg, while TNA kept the revenue generated from the breakfast briefings, Business Day reported.
According to the paper, the ad hoc committee wants the deal reviewed, and that it might even be cancelled.
Former SABC contributing editor Vuyo Mvoko, first made the claim that the public broadcaster had been paying for the controversial breakfast shows during the SABC inquiry in December last year, when he testified during the inquiry that SABC executives "have allowed SABC money to be used to build a rival channel, ANN7".
Mvoko said "Morning Live resources get diverted to pay for the production costs of those TNA breakfasts that you see", and that the public broadcaster "spent between R200,000 and R500,000 to broadcast one of the TNA breakfasts".
In January, former SABC board chairperson Ben Ngubane, told the ad hoc committee that airing the New Age's business breakfasts was beneficial to the SABC and did not cost the broadcaster any money. Ad hoc committee chair Vincent Smith asked why a company that would give air space to its rival, saying "there has to be a cost". Ngubane insisted there was none, leading Smith to say it was "blatantly clear" that "someone" was misleading committee.