SABC fights to recoup R20m from business couple

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An affidavit written by the SABC’s head of legal governance Ntuthuzelo Vanara stated that the contracts were awarded under circumstances that could be characterised as “egregious malpractice”. Photo: Supplied
An affidavit written by the SABC’s head of legal governance Ntuthuzelo Vanara stated that the contracts were awarded under circumstances that could be characterised as “egregious malpractice”. Photo: Supplied

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The SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has strengthened its bid to compel executives of Gupta-linked Asante Sana Consulting to repay nearly R20 million for contracts the company solicited outside proper tender processes between 2013 and 2016.

This is part of the tug of war between the company and the public broadcaster, which started in 2018, resulting in the SABC obtaining a court order from the Johannesburg High Court.

The order nullified multimillion-rand contracts that were awarded to the firm to render accounting and consulting services for programmes and film and sports rights issues.

In a subsequent court application instituted at the same court dated July 26, the SABC sought a contempt of court order against the company’s two directors, Mandla and Faith Musundwa, after the firm failed to repay as per the earlier order granted in 2019 by Judge Cassim Moosa.

An affidavit written by the SABC’s head of legal governance Ntuthuzelo Vanara stated that the contracts were awarded under circumstances that could be characterised as “egregious malpractice” and all appointments had no competitive bidding without approval from the bid adjudication committee. The firm received five major contracts at the public broadcaster that were later established to be illegal and outside the tender deviation process.

“The SABC brought a review application to have these appointments reviewed and set aside. As a just and equitable remedy, the SABC sought an order that Asante Sana repays all the payments it received from the SABC as a result of these impugned contracts,” read the court affidavit. The firm was supposed to pay back the money within 60 days of the order being granted but refused to do so.

“Despite the order, Asante Sana has failed and or neglected to repay as per the terms of the order. It has not appealed the order either. It is consequently in contempt of the order. The second and third respondents in the case, Mandla and Faith Musundwa, are directors of Asante Sana and in their capacity as such, they are controlling minds behind all the activities of Asante Sana.”

The corporation further argued that the couple should be held equally liable for repayments as ordered by the court.

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Inside the SABC crash – Gupta TV licence links, tender irregularities, R27m vanity concert

“Despite having been paid an amount of R19 864 335 by the SABC from July 15 2013 to July 31 2016, Asante Sana does not even have a single immovable asset registered in its name. The applicant (SABC) has been able to also establish that the second and third respondents have immovable properties registered in their names. This suggests that the second and third respondents have used Asante Sana as a conduit for their personal benefit. All the monies paid by the SABC to Asante Sana evidently ended up with the second and third respondents.”

It alluded that the couple had made it impossible for the company to comply with the court order.

The affidavit clarified:

There is a further reason why the second and third respondents have to be held personally liable. As directors of Asante Sana, they owed fiduciary duties to it. That includes a duty they owed to Asante Sana not to trade recklessly or unlawfully. In this regard, I am also advised that the second and third respondents cannot hide behind the separate legal existence of Asante Sana as a company to avoid liability for the consequences of their actions as its directors.

SABC group executive for corporate affairs and marketing Gugu Ntuli said the public broadcaster would not comment on the matter.

The SABC can confirm that it filed an application on July 27 2022 in the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng local division. The matter has not been heard, and as it is before the court, the SABC is not at liberty to comment further.

Mandla and Faith could not be reached for comment.


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