PP should reinvestigate SABC - Gavin Davis

DA MP says irregular expenditure of R3,4n, Hlaudi Motsoeneng's salary increase, and purge of senior execs issues that need examination

DA requests sequel to Public Protector's SABC report 

01 December 2014

In a reply to a parliamentary question, Minister Muthambi confirmed that no action will be taken against those responsible for incurring R 3,4 billion in irregular expenditure reported by the SABC in this financial year.

I have written to the Public Protector to request a full-scale investigation into this and other new evidence of fraud, mismanagement and bribery that has emerged since she reported various findings of SABC corporate governance failures in February this year.

The parliamentary question asked why no disciplinary or criminal action had been taken against those SABC employees responsible for making payments without contracts and failing to follow procurement processes, as stated on page 144 of the SABC's 2013/14 Annual Report [click here].

No explanation was given for the failure to follow procurement processes, and no commitment was made to hold anybody accountable for this mind-boggling amount of irregular expenditure. 

This is not good enough. The SABC needs to account for every last cent spent, and take action against those who did not follow the proper processes. If it does not, it cannot hope to arrest the culture of fraud, corruption and mismanagement that the Public Protector found in her report titled: "When Governance and Ethics Fail - a report on an investigation into allegations of maladministration, systemic corporate governance deficiencies, abuse of power and the irregular appointment of Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng by the SABC."

We believe that there is enough new evidence to warrant a sequel to the Public Protector's report published in February. This new investigation should look into:

New evidence that R 3,4 billion was spent irregularly at the SABC over the last three financial years (request for investigation submitted to the Public Protector previously on 22 October 2014);

New evidence that Hlaudi Motsoeneng ‘purged' senior executives, including former CEO Lulama Mokhobo who was paid out R8 million after just eleven months in the job (request for investigation submitted to the Public Protector previously on 3 October 2014);

The possibility that Motsoeneng's salary was again increased irregularly. A reply to a parliamentary question indicated a salary increase for Motsoeneng in the last financial year from R 2,482 million to R 2,872 million. This 13,6 % increase is more than double the rate of inflation.

Evidence that Motsoeneng's appointment as permanent COO in July was irregular. No other candidates were shortlisted and no interviews took place as per the process set out in section 11.1.2 in the SABC's Articles of Association.

New evidence (in the form of a sworn affidavit in the DA's possession) that Motsoeneng offered a former SABC employee R2 million to falsely testify that she knew he did not have a matric when he was appointed.

The SABC horror show will continue unless all new evidence of mismanagement, fraud, bribery and corruption is investigated and those responsible are held to account. It will not be so easy for the Minister and the SABC Board to ignore the Public Protector the second time around.

Statement issued by Gavin Davis MP, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, December 1 2014

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