Democratic Alliance MP Marian Shinn has said she plans to ask president Jacob Zuma to refer the findings of the SABC’s 2012/2013 annual report to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
This follows news on Tuesday that the public broadcaster had received a disclaimer of opinion in its most recent financial year – the worst opinion the auditor-general can hand down.
In the SABC’s 2013 annual report, tabled in parliament this week, AG Terence Nombembe cited financial mismanagement and inadequate controls as reasons for the disclaimer. He found that the SABC was unable to account for more than R1,5bn in spending.
“I was unable to obtain sufficient, appropriate audit evidence for journals processed to broadcasting cost, signal distribution, and linking cost, marketing cost, professional and consultancy fees and other expenditure, which in total amount to R1,6bn, as supporting documentation could not be provided,” Nombembe said.
Shinn said in a statement on Thursday that the developments needed to be probed by the SIU.
“At a press briefing today [Thursday], SABC group CEO Lulama Mokhobo denied that close to R1bn in TV licence fees has gone missing,” Shinn said. This contradicted the AG’s audit opinion that he was “unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence for the amounts disclosed as TV licence fees of R913,8m”.
“It is unacceptable that the SABC is unable to account for TV licence fees of almost R1bn. South Africa cannot be expected to continue pay licence fees to fund the SABC if this funding will simply disappear into the ether,” Shinn said.
“The SIU, under proclamation of the president, may investigate any matter of serious maladministration, unlawful expenditure of public money as well as improper or unlawful conduct by employees of any state institution,” she said.
“The latest evidence of maladministration at the SABC comes five months after the SIU submitted a report to the president on allegations of corruption at the SABC between 2005 and 2009,” she said. This report has not been tabled in parliament, despite requests from the DA for Zuma to do so.
“The president should now table that report … and institute a new investigation into the latest revelations,” Shinn said.
“South Africans, who for many years have been loyal customers of the public broadcaster, are increasingly irritated by the SABC’s perpetual board, management and financial crises.” — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media
- See also: Report shows shambles at SABC