The South African Broadcasting Corporation has spent a whopping R19.5 million investigating corruption at the public broadcaster and a further R10.8 million on resolving staff dismissal disputes since 2009.
Democratic Alliance communications spokeswoman, Marian Shinn, who exposed the numbers via a series of parliamentary questions, said of particular concern was the fact 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), only one has been concluded,” she said in a statement.
Shinn said the majority of the R10.8 million spent on staff cases, most related to issues at top management level 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.
The 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 own internal and forensic audit units have carried out 107 investigations.
“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,” Shinn said.
“ 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.”