SABC bosses to get spy checks
Loyiso Sidimba, City Press
Johannesburg - SABC bosses may be vetted by the country’s spies in a desperate bid to get rid of dodgy managers with criminal records.
A task team appointed by the national broadcaster’s acting operations chief Hlaudi Motsoeneng to implement the findings of the 2009 auditor general’s corruption probe, has recommended that “all current and future key positions be vetted [for adverse credit and criminal records] with immediate effect as an enhancement to internal risk controls”.
According to a report by SABC officials, Sully Motsweni and Tiaan Olivier, who head the task team, the public broadcaster hopes this will proactively identify any criminal or fraudulent activities carried out by prospective or current employees.
The vetting, which the task team wants incorporated into the public broadcaster’s recruitment policies, will be done in terms of the National Strategic Intelligence Act.
The act empowers members of the state security agency to conduct security screening investigations to determine the security competence of a person employed by a state entity and dealing with classified information.
According to Motsweni and Olivier’s report, the vetting process will include gathering details of criminal and financial records and personal information by intercepting and monitoring communication and polygraph tests.
A number of senior SABC appointees have fallen foul of the law, including former legal services boss Mafika Sihlali, who is currently out on bail while facing fraud charges.
Motsoeneng himself recently came under fire after it was reported that he was earmarked for the operations chief position despite not having completed matric.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the plan was a proactive measure designed to minimise mistakes.
State security agency spokesperson Brian Dube did not respond to messages sent to him.