THE SABC BOARD TAKES ACTION ON WHISTLE BLOWER ALLEGATIONS
Johannesburg, Monday, 26 March 2018-Following the recent media reports containing allegations about the SABC tender process for the provision of security services, the SABC Board wishes to set out a brief history, set the record straight and outline the steps it has taken to deal with the issue.
The SABC Board is committed to compliance with all laws and regulations and will ensure that where there is alleged wrongdoing the matter will be urgently investigated. In the event that any allegations of wrongdoing in the entire value chain of decision making are proven, decisive and appropriate action will be taken.
In July 2017 the SABC Interim Board (IB) awarded a tender to Mafoko Security for the provision of physical security services at the SABC’s Auckland Park Offices and TV Outside Broadcasts building. One of the losing bidders, Mjayeli Security, was aggrieved by this award and in December 2017 began a litigation process to review the SABC decision.
On the 22nd of February 2018, during the early stages of this litigation process, the SABC Board Chairperson, Bongumusa Makhathini, received an anonymous e-mail making allegations about two members of the SABC Board who were part of the Interim Board when the security service tender was awarded.
Within a few days of receipt of this anonymous e-mail (“the whistleblower report”), the two board members agreed with the Board chairperson to recuse themselves from any deliberations on the issue. The decision was later ratified by the Board.
On the 01st of March 2018 the SABC Chairperson, Bongumusa Makhathini wrote a letter to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) requesting them to speed up the ongoing investigation of the entire handling of the tender process prior to the IB decision, the IB decision and now the whistleblower report.
On the 6th of March 2018, the SABC Chairperson received affidavits deposed to by the two board members wherein they unequivocally rejected the allegations and denied any wrongdoing. These affidavits have been submitted to the SIU for inclusion in the ongoing investigation. The two board members have also reserved their rights to sue for defamation should it be found that the allegations are malicious.
The SABC then approached the High Court for condonation that the Court suspend hearing the Mjayeli Security matter until the SIU had finalised their investigation into the handling of the tender and all related allegations.
The SABC cannot prejudge the outcome of the SIU investigation and accordingly believes that it is in the interest of justice that the proceedings are suspended until the SIU has completed its work on the disputed tender. The SABC is prepared to accede to an order that the SIU completes its work and report in less than six months. This is a preferable route to taking any definitive decisions now, which could be reversed by the findings of the SIU.
On the 22nd March 2018, after the SABC had made its court application to hold the court proceedings in abeyance, the SABC Chairperson, Bongumusa Makhathini received a media query with respect to the litigation and the whistleblower report. Although the litigation is a public process and the issues had been raised by the Honourable Mr. M. Kalako MP and responded to by the SABC in Parliament on the 20th of March 2018, the Board has decided to provide further clarity and register its commitment to doing things differently.
“The SABC Board is committed to compliance with all laws and regulations and will ensure that any matter where wrongdoing is alleged is urgently investigated. In the event that any of the allegations of wrongdoing are proven, decisive action will be taken”, says SABC Chairperson, Bongumusa Makhathini.
The Mjayeli security matter is currently before the courts and is the subject of an ongoing SIU investigation. The SABC will be guided by the outcome of these processes.
Issued by Group Communications on behalf of the SABC Board Chairperson, Mr. Bongumusa Makhathini.
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