South African opposition demands investigation into 'mind-boggling irregular expenditure' at SABC

6 December 2014

South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has called for a second official report into irregular expenditure by the country’s public broadcaster South Africa Broadcasting Corporation.

SABC’s 2013/2014 annual report documented R14.89 million (£834,000) spent on payments without contracts and R3.37 billion (£192.5 million) spent without following proper procurement processes over three years.

In February, the country’s public protector Thuli Madonsela reported that there was “fruitless and wasteful expenditure” as a result of irregular salary increments to acting chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, a number of other senior executives and freelancers. In the report – When government and ethics fail – she recommended the monies be recovered from the “appropriate people”.

However, Faith Muthami, minister of communications, confirmed in response to a parliamentary question that no action will be taken.

Gavin Davis, shadow minister of communications said in a statement: “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. 

“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 DA believes a report should examine evidence that R3.4 billion was spent irregularly, along with allegations Motsoeneng lied about his qualifications in order to get the COO position.

“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,” Davis added.

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