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Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s salary was increased by almost half a million rand, from R3.7 million to R4.1 million during the 2015/16 financial year, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Thursday.

This was in response to the news that the South African Broadcasting Corporation posted a R411 million net loss for the 2015/16 financial year ending on March 31.

DA spokeswoman Phumzile Van Damme in a statement said the former SABC chief operations officer’s (COO) salary was increased by almost half a million from R 3 784 000 to R 4 197 000 during the 2015/16 financial year.

This was over and above the almost R1 million increase Motsoeneng received during the 2014/15 financial year.

“The further increase in Motsoeneng’s salary is a slap in the face of South Africa’s public, the courts, civil society and Parliament,” van Damme said.

 “The DA will request that an investigation into why and how Motsoeneng’s salary was increased by included in the anticipated parliamentary inquiry into the SABC.”

According to the SABC’s annual report released, Motsoeneng was the highest paid executive in his capacity at COO, even more than the chief executive officer.

“This lends credence to the suspicion that Motsoeneng served as de facto CEO of the public broadcaster,” Van Damme said.

SABC’s annual report revealed that Motsoeneng was paid a basic salary of R2.5 million, a 13th cheque and other commissions worth R213 000, expenses and other allowances to the tune of R945 000.

With contributions to pension fund and medical aid amounting R485 000, Motsoeneng’s total remuneration for the 2015/16 financial year arrived to R 4 197 000.

The SABC appointed Motsoeneng as group executive of corporate affairs after the Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the high court’s decision that his appointment as COO was “irrational” and set it aside.

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Van Damme said SABC’s financial report painted a picture of gross mismanagement at the public broadcaster.

“The DA looks forward to partaking in the parliamentary inquiry into the SABC and holding those responsible for its decline to account,” van Damme said.