SABC television studios in Auckland Park. Picture: KEVIN SUTHERLAND
SABC television studios in Auckland Park. Picture: KEVIN SUTHERLAND

President Jacob Zuma has authorised the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate mismanagement and procurement irregularities at the SABC.

The SABC is in deep financial trouble and fears are that it could collapse should it fail to get a government guarantee of R1bn. Parliament heard in June that the SABC was expecting to end the 2016-17 financial year with a net loss of R1.1bn. It recorded a loss of R411m in 2015-16, up from R395m the previous year.

The broadcaster has also been struggling to meet its obligations, including the payment of service providers. Its huge losses have been attributed partly to axed executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s controversial 90% local content policy, which the interim board has since canned.

The SIU will investigate the following allegations:

• The procurement of‚ or contracting for goods‚ works or services by or on behalf of the SABC from various companies or service providers and payment made in a way that was not fair‚ transparent‚ competitive and equitable or cost effective;

• Any undisclosed or unauthorised interest that certain SABC employees may have had with regard to contractors‚ suppliers or service providers who submitted bids for work or did business with the SABC; or contractors awarded by or on behalf of the SABC.

The SIU will also look into allegations of:

• Serious maladministration; improper or unlawful conduct by SABC board members‚ officials and employees; unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property; unlawful‚ irregular or unapproved acquisitions and transactions involving state property; intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property; and unlawful or improper conduct which has caused or may cause serious harm to the interests of the public.

The DA welcomed the signing of the proclamation.

“Although three months late, President Jacob Zuma's signing of the proclamation means that the SIU can now finally begin to do the work that will reveal the true extent of corruption, maladministration and unlawful conduct at the SABC likely implicating former communications minister Faith Muthambi, former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, former SABC CEO James Aguma and, indeed, the Gupta family,” said DA MP and communications spokeswoman Phumzile Van Damme.

With Penwell Dlamini

 

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