News24

Plot to kill SABC auditor

2008-02-17 12:01

Johannesburg - The SABC has hired four bodyguards to protect its head of internal audits, Elsje Oosthuizen, from being harmed or killed by high-ranking officials being probed for fraud and corruption.

According to City Press newspaper Oosthuizen is probing influential individuals, including a well-known station manager, a marketing manager and a top SABC lawyer.

Now the broadcaster is nervous about her safety.

But a decision was made in the middle of last year to beef up security around her after she allegedly received threatening phone calls and was followed as she drove out of the SABC's Auckland Park offices.

The SABC has left nothing to chance and Oosthuizen now has bodyguards 24 hours a day, at work and at home.

This week, the SABC could not name the company contracted to supply the guards or how much it was paying for the security.

Last Wednesday, the armed bodyguards asked City Press to leave Oosthuizen's 11th-floor office.

This was after Oosthuizen alerted her secretary to our presence outside her office.

One of the guards said: "Sir, no-one enters her office. You need to wait at the canteen downstairs and tell us why you want to see her and we will take the message upstairs."

It is understood that the marketing manager, whose name is known to City Press, did not declare to the SABC that he owned an events management company.

His company was doing work on the side for Metro FM.

A source said eyebrows were raised when the manager was in a hurry to declare ownership of his company shortly before the eighth Metro FM Music Awards in Port Elizabeth last year.

"The question was the timing of the declaration which he failed to do on signing as an employee and again when the internal auditor rounded up each employee asking them to "declare their business interests," the source said.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago refused to comment on the investigations.

"As a matter of principle, the SABC does not discuss any matter between the employer and employee," he said.

"We are therefore not in a position to answer your questions."

But he confirmed that the taxpayers were footing the bill for Oosthuizen's bodyguards.

"When we did a security check on her, we found it warranted that type of protection," said Kganyago

He said that the bodyguards would only be removed once the security threat lo longer existed.