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

President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) investigation into mismanagement and procurement irregularities at the SABC.

In 2017, former president Jacob Zuma signed a proclamation mandating the SIU to investigate "questionable contracts" at the SABC. The proclamation said the SIU would investigate any misconduct that took place between November 11 2011 until the date the proclamation was published, September 1 2017.

On Friday, Ramaphosa issued another proclamation extending the period to July 6 2018 — the date of the publication of his proclamation. The president also substituted paragraph one of the proclamation’s schedule.

Last year, the SABC found itself in deep financial trouble. There were fears at the time that it would 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 had also been struggling to meet its obligations, including the payment of service providers. The huge losses were attributed partly to axed executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s controversial 90% local-content policy, which the interim board has since ended.

In February this year, the SIU issued Motsoeneng with summonses amounting to R21m. The summonses issued were to recover the R11m bonus Motsoeneng received in 2016 for "successfully" negotiating the controversial R533m deal with MultiChoice. The deal, signed in 2013, gave MultiChoice access to the SABC’s entire archive.

The SIU also wants to recover R10.7m in damages from the former SABC executive related to irregular appointments and dismissals of staff on his watch.