#IndianSpiceLeaks On Friday, the Presidency released their statement saying that President Jacob Zuma had finally authorized the SIU to proceed with investigation into “certain matters in respect of procurement” at the SABC, in terms of section 2 (2) of the Special Investigating Unit and Special Tribunals Act, 1996.
The Proclamation authorizes the SIU to investigate the following allegations:
– The procurement of, or contracting for goods, works or services by or on behalf of the SABC from various companies or service providers and payment made in respect thereof in a manner that was not fair, transparent, competitive and equitable or cost effective;
– Any undisclosed or unauthorised interest that certain members of the personnel of the SABC may have had with regard to contractors, suppliers or service providers who submitted bids for work or did business with the SABC; or contractors awarded by or on behalf of the SABC;
The Proclamation further authorizes the SIU to investigate allegations of:
– Serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of the SABC;
– Improper or unlawful conduct by board members, officials or employees of the SABC;
– Unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property;
– Unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive act, transaction, measure or practice having a bearing upon State property;
– Intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property;
– Unlawful or improper conduct by any person, which has caused or may cause serious harm to the interests of the public or any category thereof.
The SABC Forensic Unit has issued 37 forensic reports on allegations ranging from fraud and corruption, to bribery and nepotism at the public broadcaster since May 2014. However, many of these findings still await corrective action from SABC management.
Some of the key Lotus FM probes include
Among some of these cases are the following:
- Lotus FM Dramas – on 24th August 2015 a report was issued regarding allegations that the drama producer at Lotus FM signed and submitted tax invoices and timesheets on behalf of an independent contractor. The report found that the producer’s husband is a freelance writer for the independent contractor which she failed to declare. The report recommended disciplinary action against the producer, however, no action has been taken.
- Irregularity of appointments and re-appointment of staff at the station
- Allegations of bribery are being investigated where an HR employee is said to have received home appliances in exchange for renewed employment contracts.
In June, a moratorium has been imposed on the broadcaster during the re-organization of executive positions.
Other investigations underway include:
- SABC Medscheme – 24 SABC employees colluded with a clinical psychologist to bill SABC Medscheme for fictitious consultations and in return, the psychologist paid the employees a cash amount. This report was issued on 23rd July 2014 and the implementation of the recommendations are still in progress as an additional 192 incidents have been identified.
- Ukhozi FM Drama – Freelance actors submitted fictitious invoices in collusion with the drama producer. Action against the implicated actors and producer is still in progress, despite the report being issued on the 3rdof June 2014.