With just two days to go before the deadline for Hlaudi Motsoeneng to appeal his disciplinary sanction, fears are mounting that a delay by President Jacob Zuma in signing a proclamation to ask the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to probe the SABC could mean that Motsoeneng will walk away with millions.
The Star reported on Monday that Motsoeneng has until Wednesday to appeal the sanction, in which he was fired from the public broadcaster. But if he does not appeal, and if the SIU is not investigating by then, he will have access to his pension, estimated to be worth millions.
Inside and outside the SABC, there are reportedly fears that Zuma is delaying signing the SIU proclamation.
A source at the SABC told The Star: "For us the key is, if you are going to unlock the problem, you need to get to the root of the fraud, irregularities, and wasteful and fruitless expenditure. We have contacted the SIU to do that, including the scope and all other things that have to go to the Justice Department, and the minister has signed.
"It [the SIU request] has been sitting on the president's desk for more than two months. And we done know when it will be signed. But every day that passes, for us is time lost... Why he doesn't sign, we don't know."
The SIU reportedly told Parliament's standing committee on public accounts two weeks ago that it expected Zuma to sign the proclamation by the end of June.
Motsoeneng, through his lawyer, told the paper he would not appeal the ruling but that it would be referred to the CCMA.
Another source told The Star: "What if we approve the payout and the SIU finds so many irregularities and we have paid him? We need to find a way to withhold his pension and the only way is if he faces a criminal case."
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) told The Star that the delays were tantamount to defeating the ends of justice.
"The failure to sign the proclamation further delays much-needed stability and progress at the SABC," spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told The Star that the board was concerned about the delay.
The presidency denied that Zuma was delaying signing the proclamation.