SABC spends more than R19,5m on corruption investigations - Marian Shinn

DA MP says disciplinary action only taken against 300 of 1 465 employees who failed to declare their interests

SABC: more than R19.5m spent on corruption investigations

Replies to DA parliamentary questions have revealed that since 2009, corruption investigations at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have cost the public broadcaster R19.5 million. During the same time-frame, a further R10.8 million was spent on resolving staff dismissal disputes. 

Of particular concern, however, is that of the 1 465 employees who were identified during investigations for not declaring their interests, disciplinary action has been undertaken against only 300 of those employees.

Furthermore, of the 14 cases that were reported to the South African Police Service (SAPS), only one has been concluded.

According to the replies:

  • R19.5 million was paid to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) for an audit following the Auditor-General's special investigation of the SABC in 2009;
  • The SABC's Internal and Forensic Audit units have carried out 107 investigations;
  • R10.8 million has been spent on legal fees to resolve dismissal disputes. The majority of these cases relate to SABC top-management including the General Manager of SABC News International, Head of Procurement, the News Editor, Chief Financial Officer, General Executive: News and Current Affairs and the Chief Audit Executive.

While the DA welcomes the action being taken to root out corruption at the SABC, the new Minister of Communications, Yunus Carrim, must follow up on why, despite numerous investigations, so few actual dismissals have taken place. I will be submitting a series of follow up questions in Parliament to get these answers. 

It is imperative that the publicly funded, SABC does not continue to leak funds due to corruption. The new Minister must ensure that all new staff, especially top management are properly qualified, vetted against corrupt activities and are experienced for the task at hand. If necessary, the appointment processes, employment contracts and human resource practices need to be reviewed to ensure that the SABC will no longer be held ransom with threats of expensive and protracted legal proceedings and golden handshake negotiations.

The SABC can become the public broadcaster that all South Africans are proud of. Corrective action must now be taken to prevent any further rot.

Statement issued by Marian Shinn MP, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, August 6 2013

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