SIU: SABC investigation

2011-12-03 13:06

Investigations into conflicts of interest at the SABC have uncovered a significant number of cases where officials have done business with their own employer – usually without declaring it.

Almost 1 500 SABC employees are being investigated for potential conflicts of interest.

Already, 20 employees have been identified who have interests in companies that do business with the corporation and that to the value of R1.2 billion.

A number of other procurement and staff payment issues are also under investigation following a request from the SABC board.

These include:
» Staff payments contrary to SARS legislation
– a total of R34 million is under investigation and includes irregular payments to staff for travel, security, legal costs and personal protection;

» The cost of suspensions – R12.8 million was paid to 51 employees suspended on full pay in the period April 2006 to August 2009;

» Commissions paid to SABC employees – R47 million was paid to staff in the commercial enterprises division; and

» SABC petrolcards – 11 employees are being probed for anomalies amounting to R2.7 million.

The Special Investigating Unit is also working with police to probe the acquisition of an excessive amount of new programmes during 2009, which resulted in high volumes of programming becoming redundant.

According to the board, this resulted in losses of about R150 million as at the end of the last financial year. The SABC also suffered revenue losses as advertisers were not prepared to advertise during the screening of these sub-standard programmes.

The SIU has also helped with work on eight criminal matters, of which six have been completed.The SABC investigation is a landmark one for the SIU – it is the first time a public entity, as opposed to a government department, has approached the unit to probe its own affairs.

The investigation is being expanded to include possible wasteful expenditure, and possible criminal behaviour related to three 2010 Fifa World Cup transactions.

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