SABC in­terim board hands SIU doc­u­ments over con­tro­ver­sial ten­der

Observer on Saturday - - News - ENCA

The SABC's in­terim board says it has pro­vided doc­u­ments to the Spe­cial In­ves­ti­gat­ing Unit (SIU) over a con­tro­ver­sial ten­der.

They are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for award­ing a se­cu­rity con­tract worth al­most R200-mil­lion to Mafoko Se­cu­rity Pa­trols. The com­pany came sec­ond in the bid­ding process but had a higher BEE com­pli­ance rat­ing than Mjayeli Se­cu­rity Ser­vices.

The SABC board mem­bers num­bers have been slashed from 12 to eight. Kr­ish Naidoo, Khany­isile Kweyama, John Mati­sonn and now Mathatha Tsedu have thrown in the towel. All four were part of the five-mem­ber in­terim board that awarded the R185-mil­lion se­cu­rity ten­der.

The SIU says it has dis­cov­ered ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the award­ing of the con­tract. Lawyers rep­re­sent­ing them in­sist ev­ery­thing was above board, and say their resignations are un­re­lated to the SIU in­ves­ti­ga­tion.


“The cur­rent con­tract could not be ex­tended any fur­ther, and that ex­ten­sion would have re­sulted in a def­i­nite ir­reg­u­lar­ity,” said Te­bogo Malatji, a lawyer for the SABC In­terim Board. “The other op­tion which they had and were ad­vised by le­gal sup­ply chain man­age­ment is that they were en­ti­tled to look at all the bids and choose any other bid­der other than the suc­cess­ful one.”

Their lawyer says their resignations have noth­ing to do with the SIU in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which they'll co­op­er­ate with. It's un­der­stood that at the cen­tre of the ex­o­dus, is a stand­off among board mem­bers over in­ter­ven­tions by Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Stella Nd­abeni-Abra­hams.

The min­is­ter has in­sisted the board re­verses a de­ci­sion to re­trench some 2 000 em­ploy­ees - but some board mem­bers have cried “po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence.” The pres­i­dent has ac­cepted the board mem­bers' resignations.

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