Forensic probe finds no Bosasa donation to SABC 8 campaign

2019-03-04 13:38

A Deloitte investigation has revealed that Bosasa did not pay R100 000 into a crowdfunding campaign for the SABC 8, according to the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef).

Sanef approached Deloitte to perform a forensic review after TimesLive published a report on January 22, 2019, which alleged that Bosasa contributed to the cause. 

The forum backed the cause for the SABC 8 - eight journalists who were fired by former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng for standing up for media freedom. 

READ: SABC 8 outraged over Bosasa funding allegation

In a statement issued on Monday, Sanef said that based on information from a variety of sources and procedures, Deloitte found no evidence that Bosasa or any people or entities related to the company had made any payment to the SABC 8 campaign in 2016.

As part of its investigations, Deloitte validated information in a spreadsheet of the crowdfunding campaign donors, provided by Sanef treasurer Adriaan Basson.

It also reviewed the donors to identify any association with Bosasa and determined the electronic flow of funds.

Deloitte also made direct requests to the then representatives of Bosasa mentioned in an email referred to by TimesLive, to confirm whether such payments were made at the time.

READ: Bosasa did not donate to SABC 8 - Sanef

Deloitte was given access to the bank accounts of Sanef, Willem de Klerk Attorneys and Basson for the period in 2016 during which the campaign was active.

Deloitte was further provided with written statements by the remaining seven of the SABC 8 journalists (Suna Venter passed away in 2017) and Basson and independently confirmed that the only contribution surpassing R100 000 had no links to Bosasa.

"We never had any doubt that the fund did not receive money from Bosasa but wanted an independent forensic auditor to confirm this since the allegations published by TimesLive cast aspersions on Sanef, the SABC 8 and Sanef treasurer Adriaan Basson, who started the fund.

"The Sanef council resolved at its meeting in Cape Town last month that a meeting be sought with the editors of TimesLive in the wake of the Deloitte report being published," Sanef chairperson Mahlatse Mahlase said. 

*Basson is editor-in-chief of News24

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Read more on:    bosasa  |  sanef  |  media  |  sabc 8  |  media freedom
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