1 March 2010

More SABC staff to be suspended

More SABC commercial staff to be suspended

Chantelle Benjamin, Business Day, Johannesburg, 1 March 2010

AT LEAST three senior staff of the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC’s) commercial enterprises division are expected to be suspended in the next two weeks, after the division’s head, Gab Mampone, was suspended last week.

Mampone was acting CEO of the SABC until Solly Mokoetle took office this year.

A source close to management at the SABC said yesterday a probe was under way into the division, and more suspensions were expected. “Tens of millions of rand” had been lost through poor management of the division, the source said. The investigation, which is expected to lead to criminal action, may involve organisations outside the SABC.

Mampone’s suspension and the present investigation are based on several internal audit reports into deals by the sales department.

The reports are said to have revealed financial mismanagement, raised questions about whether deals had been made in the SABC’s best interests, and suggested misuse of SABC facilities.

Mampone allegedly failed to act on these reports and did not take action against senior staff, thus contributing to the SABC’s losses. He is also being probed for financial mismanagement.

On Wednesday, Mampone was invited to make representations on why he should not be suspended. On Friday the board decided to suspend him pending the outcome of the probe. Spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said the SABC had issued a statement on Mampone’s suspension and would not comment further.

In a bid to rid the SABC of corruption, the board has asked the auditor-general to complete a report into the organisation.

Meanwhile, Limpopo businessmen claim an SABC board member told the news department to ignore a protest march against corruption in that province.

The Sunday Independent reported the Forum of Limpopo Entrepreneurs as saying African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema threatened the group on radio before a march to the premier’s office. The forum claimed board member Clifford Motsepe told the department to ignore the march.

Kganyago said that board members are not involved in editorial decisions.

ANCYL spokesman Floyd Shivambu said it was “bad journalism” to ask his organisation to respond to the allegation of censorship.


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