EX­POSED: The deep rot in­side the broad­caster

CityPress - - News - ANDISIWE MAKINANA andisiwe.makinana@city­press.co.za

Ap­point­ments at the pub­lic broad­caster were made to posts that had not been ad­ver­tised; and those who got the jobs didn’t have the re­quired qual­i­fi­ca­tions or ex­pe­ri­ence – and the SABC failed to pro­cure goods or ser­vices through fair pro­cure­ment pro­cesses, as re­quired by law.

Th­ese are some of the find­ings made by the Au­di­tor-Gen­eral in a fi­nal man­age­ment re­port on the SABC ear­lier this year.

The re­port, dated March 31, is one of the doc­u­ments that the SABC re­fused to hand over to the par­lia­men­tary ad hoc com­mit­tee that is now look­ing into the cor­po­ra­tion’s af­fairs.

The Au­di­tor-Gen­eral found that ef­fec­tive steps had not been taken to pre­vent ir­reg­u­lar, fruit­less and waste­ful ex­pen­di­ture, as the Pub­lic Fi­nance and Man­age­ment Act and Trea­sury reg­u­la­tions re­quire. And, as a re­sult, “the full ex­tent of the ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture could not be quan­ti­fied”, the Au­di­tor-Gen­eral’s re­port said.

The Au­di­tor-Gen­eral, Alice Muller, told Par­lia­ment this week about doc­u­ments de­tail­ing R141 mil­lion in ex­pen­di­ture that the Au­di­tor-Gen­eral’s of­fice did not re­ceive from the SABC.

“Dur­ing the au­dit process, we hadn’t had any lim­i­ta­tions on them re­fus­ing to give us doc­u­ments, ex­cept for sup­ply chain man­age­ment,” Muller said.

The Au­di­tor-Gen­eral’s re­port also states that the fruit­less and waste­ful ex­pen­di­ture dis­closed by the SABC did not re­flect the full ex­tent of waste­ful ex­pen­di­ture. And dis­ci­plinary steps were not taken against of­fi­cials who spent money in this waste­ful way, as re­quired by the act.

This week, SABC bosses snubbed the par­lia­men­tary in­quiry, claim­ing the hear­ing was a pre­de­ter­mined af­fair and a kan­ga­roo court. They also ques­tioned the mo­tives of some MPs on the com­mit­tee.

The SABC re­fused to hand over 10 of the 15 doc­u­ments the com­mit­tee asked for, cit­ing com­mer­cial sen­si­tiv­i­ties.

Through their lawyers, the SABC ex­ec­u­tives claimed that some doc­u­ments were miss­ing, in­clud­ing a man­age­ment re­port re­spond­ing to the Au­di­tor-Gen­eral’s find­ings, a doc­u­ment de­tail­ing in­ter­nal au­dit com­mit­tee meet­ings, as well as an­other doc­u­ment about the ap­point­ment of Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng as the group ex­ec­u­tive for cor­po­rate af­fairs.

In the man­age­ment re­port, the Au­di­torGen­eral found that the SABC had no for­mal fil­ing poli­cies and pro­ce­dures, which, Muller found, had led to a lack of con­trols to en­sure all orig­i­nal doc­u­ments were main­tained and eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble.

Other “per­ti­nent short­falls”, the Au­di­torGen­eral found, were that the SABC’s re­cruit­ment pol­icy did not re­quire com­pe­tency as­sess­ments for skilled po­si­tions, nor were crim­i­nal record checks con­ducted on po­ten­tial em­ploy­ees.

Cit­i­zen­ship ver­i­fi­ca­tion was also not con­ducted be­cause the SABC re­lies on iden­tity doc­u­ments.

A hu­man re­source man­age­ment as­sess­ment found that peo­ple were hired for jobs that had not been ad­ver­tised, and that new ap­pointees did not have the re­quired qual­i­fi­ca­tions or ex­pe­ri­ence. It also found that no per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem was in place.

On March 31, it was recorded that the SABC’s over­all va­cancy rate in­creased from 3.1% in the 2014/15 fi­nan­cial year to 7.4% in 2015/16. The se­nior man­age­ment va­cancy rate dur­ing the same pe­riod rose from 8% to 14.7% and the va­cancy rate at the fi­nance divi­sion stood at 5.07%.

The DA’s Phumzile van Damme said it was con­cern­ing that this doc­u­ment hadn’t been tabled be­fore the com­mit­tee.

WHAT PAR­LIA­MENT HEARD THIS WEEK

Not one top ex­ec­u­tive at the SABC had been vet­ted, said for­mer SABC head of risk man­age­ment Itane Tsiesi.

For­mer group ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Phil Molefe re­fused to sign a R500 000 salary hike for Mot­soe­neng.

Mot­soe­neng al­legedly said: “I told you this is not our man; I am go­ing to Pre­to­ria tonight.” This after Molefe re­fused to sign his R500 000 raise, as re­quested by then board chair­per­son Ben Ngubane.

The Gup­tas wanted a stake in the SABC’s 24-hour news chan­nel, said Molefe.

Mot­soe­neng ar­rived with one of the Gupta brothers at the SABC, who was keen to do busi­ness with the SABC, said Molefe.

The SABC wrote off R2 bil­lion in out­stand­ing TV li­cence fees, said for­mer board mem­ber Kr­ish Naidoo.

The SABC board didn’t ap­prove funds that Mot­soe­neng paid to artists, said Naidoo.

The SABC board did not make de­ci­sions to de­fend Mot­soe­neng in court cases, said for­mer board mem­ber Vusi Mavuso.

Mot­soe­neng’s salary in­creases were not pre­sented to the board, nor were the bonuses he re­ceived, said Mavuso.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Faith Muthambi ar­rived at the SABC at about 11pm after the SABC board voted to ap­point Mot­soe­neng as per­ma­nent chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, said Mavuso.

The Mul­tiChoice deal was pushed through by Mot­soe­neng when then group CEO Lu­lama Mokhobo was on leave, said Mokhobo.

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