Fraud and Waste at SABC 'Go to the Top'

Cape Times (South Africa), September 15, 2011 | Go to article overview

Fraud and Waste at SABC 'Go to the Top'


THE rot of fraud, corruption and waste at the SABC reaches all the way to the top, according to a preliminary report by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into long-standing allegations of widespread graft at the public broadcaster.

The ongoing SIU probe - covering the period September 2007 to March last year - has unearthed a litany of abuses and financial shenanigans, including fraud and other irregularities involving the procurement of services, theft of assets, payments to fictitious companies, duplicate payments, fraudulent quotations and claims, and irregular appointments, promotions and pay increases.

According to the SIU, only 10 of the 20 SABC current and former board members investigated had disclosed their business interests as required by law. And even those board members who disclosed their interests - in 55 companies - failed to report that they had fingers in 1 106 other pies. Ironically, it was the board itself that asked the SIU to conduct this investigation.

Board chairman Ben Ngubane said last night that the probe was launched after the auditor-general made a number of damning findings in his 2009/10 report on the broadcaster's finances.

And responding to the findings about board members, he said: "I thought I had done all my declarations, but I don't know about the other board members."

He added that he would be meeting the SIU to get a report on its progress with the probe.

The SIU also identified 20 SABC staffers who had personal interests in companies that conducted R1.2 billion worth of business with the broadcaster.

And of the 1 358 SABC employees investigated so far, only 178 had completed declaration of interest forms in which they declared [degrees] interests. …

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