SABC’s waste ‘known’

2014-02-19 00:00

CAPE TOWN — An investigation by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) had found that the SABC had irregularly spent as much as R285 million between 2007 and 2010.

The investigation was started in 2010 and was completed two years ago, after which the report was sent to President Jacob Zuma, in accordance with the SIU’s mandate.

The investigation, among others, focused on conflict of interests involving staff at the SABC.

At least 20 staff members were initially identified. They were people involved with businesses to which the SABC had made payments between September 2007 and March 2010.

Paul Modipa of the SIU said the investigation had brought to light that R9,6 million had been wasted and R276 million had been paid out irregularly. He cited one example of the former chair of the SABC and the former executive head having irregularly appointed security guards at their private homes. “The SABC paid for this and the costs were respectively R140 000 and R181 000,” said Modipa.

He said nine criminal cases had been opened with the police following the investigation.

The SIU has now submitted the report to the parliamentary portfolio committee over communications.

Communications Minister Yunus Carrim yesterday attended the committee meeting.

Carrim, who was appointed as communications minister at the end of last year, said he had only learned about the SIU’s investigation about 10 days ago.

He said the case was a challenge for the judiciary system, adding if managers broke the rules, the board of directors was responsible. If the board members broke the rules, he as the minister was responsible.

Carrim said he had already approached the state’s advocate for advice on the matter. “I will report back as soon as possible,” Carrim said.

The Public Protector (PP) on Monday released her report on the SABC, which found chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng had been appointed unlawfully in his post and had received several unlawful salary increases.

Carrim yesterday said he had not yet had a chance to read the full report.

He said he will meet with the board of the SABC on the handling of the PP’s report.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the report will be discussed on the board’s next meeting, but could not say when this would be.

He said there will not be further comments on Madonsela’s report until the board meets with a proper quorum.

Asked if the public protector’s report constituted a priority for the SABC board, Kganyago said it was not a matter of priorities, but rather organising the board members, who do not serve full-time at the SABC.

“But we will prefer if they can meet soon,” Kganyago said.

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