Draft report of SABC inquiry leaked on social media

2017-01-17 23:50
SABC office. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

SABC office. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - The draft document compiled following the completion of the ad hoc committee hearing into the fitness of the SABC's board was leaked on social media on Tuesday, ahead of the planned deliberation later this week.

The committee will meet on Thursday and Friday to finalise its report once input has been received from its members.

Committee member Phumzile Van Damme confirmed the legitimacy of the online document as the one which has been distributed to the committee.

She said she had perused it and thought the draft was "a good start".

According to the working document, among the recommendations is that witnesses found to have given misleading or false information to the committee be sanctioned and that editorial independence and a high standard of journalism be adhered to at the broadcaster.

It also recommended that the SABC board's dissolution be finalised as a matter of urgency, that the interim board institute a probe into all irregular and wasteful expenditure, that action be taken against those behind the expenditure and that steps be taken to recover the money.

Clarity on legislation recommended

It further recommended that the role of the shareholder be clarified to ensure no undue encroachment on the operations of the public broadcaster or responsibilities of the board and that it complies with good corporate governance and compliance.

In terms of legal status and governance, it recommended that the executive and Parliament clarify which legislation takes precedence in the appointment and dismissal of board members and that the funding model of the SABC – operating as a public broadcaster and a commercial entity – be reviewed to ensure financial sustainability.

The committee in the report said it had observed that the SABC board, as the accounting authority, had failed to do its duty in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act as there were no effective measures to ensure there was no irregular, unauthorised, wasteful and fruitless expenditure, as shown by the Auditor General's (AG) annual report for the past financial year.

According to the report, this expenditure totalled R5.1bn.

The AG also found instances of the board not complying with supply chain management regulations.

The committee also observed that the board and its sub-committee had "failed to exercise effective oversight over the administration specifically in relation to adherence to financial and human resource management" while also failing to implement the remedial action in accordance to the Public Protector's report, When Governance and Ethics Fail.

It also said the board had not intervened meaningfully in the intimidation and threats against eight of its journalists.

Once completed the report will be sent to the SABC for comment.

Read more on:    sabc  |  phumzile van damme  |  media  |  sabc inquiry

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