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SABC under fire from Scopa over lack of controls

The South African Broadcasting Corporation chairman Ben Ngubane became the target of members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts' (Scopa) annoyance over the lack of controls at the organisation.
"I don't see all the documents that go to National Treasury. The information about controls is there. I don't know why it was not included in the documentation‚" he said.

Ngubane became visibly irritated as he was pressed by African National Congress MP Sarah Mangeni who insisted that as chairman he should be the first to know about the public broadcaster's internal controls.

"We (as the board) only act on the information that is given to us. If you want someone who is active then you should get an executive chairman and not non-executives such as us‚" he retorted.

This follows a morning of drama in front of the usually pedantic Scopa meeting as two suspended SABC board members wanted to make unsolicited statements before the committee.

Suspended SABC chief financial officer Cawe Mahlati and Gugu Duda wanted to make statements that would contradict the rest of the board's assurances that the corporation was following good governance procedures.

Duda claimed she was placed on suspension for about two months on full pay but had not been formally notified as to why.

Ngubane responded saying the suspension occurred after the board received two reports and to ensure that she did not interfere in the investigation

He also revealed that the SABC had no internal audit committee but that there was still an internal audit function.

According to Ngubane‚ Communications Minister Dina Pule had rejected the board's recommendation on who to appoint to the internal audit committee because they did not have the right qualifications.

Scopa chairman Themba Godi (African Peoples Congress) ordered the two suspended board members to make written submissions.

"This has become a circus. Never before have we seen members of a board come here‚ contradicting other members of the board‚" Godi said.

Democratic Alliance MP Dion George was overruled as he wanted to hear the two suspended board members.

Godi asked the SABC board: "How did we choose you? How did you get appointed?"


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