The South African Communist Party (SACP) on Tuesday urged the SABC board and parliament’s communications portfolio committee to take decisive action following the public protector’s report.
“Decisive action is needed to turn the SABC around in all areas of its work, including a concerted fight against corruption in the corporation,” spokesman Alex Mashilo said in a statement.
“The SACP is also firmly of the view that many of these shenanigans at the SABC are not unrelated to corrupt intentions by some in relation to the migration from analogue to digital television.”
He said the SACP was watching developments in relation to the migration and would act publicly and expose abuses.
On Monday, public protector Thuli Madonsela criticised SABC acting chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng and the SABC board over his irregular appointment and salary progression at the public broadcaster.
Madonsela found former communications minister Dina Pule had interfered unduly in the SABC’s affairs during her tenure. “Her conduct amounts to abuse of power,” Madonsela said.
She urged communications minister Yunus Carrim to take urgent steps to fill the “long outstanding vacant post” of chief operating officer with a suitably qualified permanent incumbent within 90 days.
She called on Carrim to establish why group CEOs at the SABC could not function, and left prematurely, causing financial and operational strains.
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said the public broadcaster would consider Madonsela’s findings.
Madonsela found Motsoeneng irregularly and rapidly increased the salaries of various staff members, resulting in the state broadcaster footing an unprecedented salary bill escalation of R29m.
He “unilaterally” increased the salaries of various staff members and certain freelancers without following parts of the SABC personnel regulations, Madonsela said in the report.
Complaints against Motsoeneng were raised with Madonsela by former SABC staff — including former chief operations officer Charlotte Mampane and ex-SABC senior executive Phumelele Ntombela-Nzimande.
Motsoeneng was also investigated for fraudulently misrepresenting his qualifications to the SABC, including claiming that he had passed matric when he applied for employment.
Madonsela said allegations that Motsoeneng committed fraud by stating in his application form that he had completed matric at Metsimantsho High School in QwaQwa were substantiated. She said it was worrying that Motsoeneng’s file had disappeared at the SABC while he denied falsifying his qualifications.
Madonsela’s report recommends that the SABC board institute corrective action against the “dishonest” Motsoeneng. — Sapa