Three top SABC executives are under fire after they were found to have concealed a multimillion-rand advertising share agreement with an external service provider.

The trio – group COO Ian Plaatjies, group executive for video entertainment Merlin Naicker, and group executive for sales Reginald Nxumalo – allegedly concealed a profit share clause to the SABC executive committee members during their presentation at which the deal was approved last year. 

City Press reports that the R35m contract, renewable yearly for five years, was awarded to Discover Digital.

But the executives did not disclose to their bosses that the company would be paid an additional 7.5%.

The SABC last week suspended Plaatjies and Naicker, while Nxumalo resigned when he allegedly caught the wind of the impending suspension. The public broadcaster acted last Monday after receiving legal advice from law firm Werkmans.

This was kept under wraps, with the SABC only informing staff on Wednesday that the two had taken ‘leave of absence’.

Lungile Binza and Lala Tuku will act in Plaatjies’ and Naicker’s positions, respectively.

Under the controversial deal, the SABC agreed to pay technology company Discover Digital R35m annually to manage its digital offerings, known as Over the Top, the multimedia integration platform which streams content.

The platform, also called SABC Plus, provides the public broadcaster’s best content – from 19 radio stations and three free-to-air TV channels SABC1, SABC2, SABC3, as well as the SABC Sports and the 24-hour news channel.

The SABC projected that the platform would make between R150m to R200m annually.

However, the three executives failed to reveal that, over and above this, Discover Digital was to be paid 7.5%.

Full City Press report