1KZN chair un­der fire

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO NEWS - Or­rin Singh

DAMN­ING al­le­ga­tions in­volv­ing 1KZN TV sur­faced this week in an email, un­leash­ing a scathing at­tack on the com­mu­nity tele­vi­sion sta­tion’s chair­per­son, Dr Themba Fakazi.

The email, which had been sent among other re­cip­i­ents to a num­ber of me­dia houses on Mon­day, al­leged that Fakazi had mis­used more than R8-mil­lion of the sta­tion’s fi­nances.

It said peo­ple had re­ported hav­ing seen Fakazi us­ing the com­pany’s bank card to pay for his so­cial gath­er­ings.

‘The board was in­formed of these find­ings and the ver­dict was left on them.

‘The chair­per­son was stripped of his right to have ac­cess to the chan­nel’s fi­nances and that was the only de­ci­sion taken by the board.

‘No foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tion, no sus­pen­sion un­til the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, ba­si­cally noth­ing was done af­ter he had spent more than 8 mil­lion of the com­pany’s fi­nances,’ an ex­tract from the email read.

Ap­proached for com­ment, Fakazi said the al­le­ga­tions were meant to drag his name through the mud and tar­nish his rep­u­ta­tion.

‘It is rather dis­ap­point­ing that such mat­ters are dis­cussed ex­ter­nally through me­dia when we have our own in­ter­nal pro­cesses and pro­ce­dures in place.

‘Un­der­stand­ing the right to free­dom of speech and ex­pres­sion, I will ac­cept all prop­erly filed griev­ances and let the board of di­rec­tors deal with them and make the right de­ci­sions.’

In re­sponse to al­le­ga­tions that he had mis­used funds and that he was aware of the sta­tion’s fi­nan­cial cri­sis, and yet nei­ther he nor the board had done any­thing about it, Fakazi said this re­mains an al­le­ga­tion pend­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the board.

‘I will make the rec­om­men­da­tions and the out­comes pub­lic upon fi­nal­i­sa­tion. 1KZN TV op­er­ates as a cor­po­rate and thus en­gages pro­fes­sion­als who are ex­perts in their field.

‘In our case, there is a board and man­age­ment team re­spon­si­ble for the fi­nan­cial well-be­ing of the sta­tion.

‘The board re­ceives and acts on the re­ported sta­tus. As far as I am aware, we are do­ing fine.’

The email made fur­ther al­le­ga­tions per­tain­ing to a trip to In­done­sia which Fakazi un­der­took.

An ex­tract reads: ‘He (Fakazi) still en­joys the lux­ury of mis­in­form­ing the pub­lic about all the ini­tia­tives he has done for the chan­nel, even ly­ing and say­ing his trip to In­done­sia was to ne­go­ti­ate con­tracts that were not even ini­ti­ated by him.’

Fakazi said he would rec­om­mend that the board un­der­take an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into all the al­le­ga­tions and the out­come would be made pub­lic.

Ac­cord­ing to Fakazi, the anony­mous email, which was sent from a 1KZN TV mail server do­main, is not listed on their sys­tem and is un­trace­able.

Sta­tion Man­ager Ed­win Mncwango could not be reached for com­ment as to whether the email was the work of one dis­grun­tled em­ployee or rep­re­sented the views of the ma­jor­ity of staff, but a se­nior man­ager who pre­ferred to re­main anony­mous con­firmed it was a gen­eral con­sen­sus.

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