Leaked draft tough on SABC spenders

The parliamentary committee investigating the SABC board’s fitness to hold office is recommending tough steps against those who allowed unauthorised spending at the public broadcaster.

If the findings remain in the final report, they could see former chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng among those facing action.

A draft report detailing the committee’s findings was leaked yesterday in which the committee said action must be taken against employees who “incurred or permitted” more than R5.1-billion in irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure between 2014 and last year.

The committee said where possible, steps must be taken to recover irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

The committee also had harsh words for the SABC board, which collapsed weeks before the inquiry began and recommended that a new interim board be appointed urgently.

The new board will have its work cut out. Apart from instituting an investigation, the board must facilitate the implementation of the public protector’s remedial action on governance failures in the management of affairs at the SABC.

The committee also said the SABC board must institute a forensic audit into the agreement that resulted in the transfer part of the SABC’s archives to MultiChoice.

Motsoeneng is said to have championed the deal, which has been surrounded in controversy since its inception as questions are raised about whether SABC archives are used for the commercial gain of a private entity.

The draft report said Motsoeneng was at the centre of the divisions within all the boards between 2009 and 2016.

Motsoeneng declined to comment on the draft findings saying: “I will comment when the time is right.”

Chairman of the ad hoc committee Vincent Smith expressed dismay at the leak and said it had no standing as an official document of the committee until deliberations were exhausted.

The committee is expected to deliberate the findings today. — Tiso Black Star Group

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