File picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso (ANA)

Johannesburg - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Thursday said it was continuing to take disciplinary action against employees fingered for wrongdoing by the public protector, Parliament's Ad Hoc Committee, internal forensic audits and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) reports.

"The SABC has been inundated with media queries regarding consequence management actions affecting a number of its employees," said Vuyo Mthembu, the public broadcaster's spokesperson.

She said some of the employees were going through disciplinary processes, while others were either suspended or have been dismissed. 

Mthembu said it was "necessary to provide clarity on this matter". 

She said disciplinary processes were informed by recommendations emanating from the 2014 Public Protector report entitled, “When Governance and Ethics Fail”, a 2017 Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee Report, internal audit forensic reports and SIU reports.

These reports detail malfeasance, systematic collapse of good corporate governance and complete disregard of financial management systems within the SABC. 

"Moreover, the Auditor-General recorded a series of adverse findings against the public broadcaster pointing to a severe deterioration of governance provisions," said Mthembu. 

Many of the affected employees were implicated in transactions amounting to R5.2 billion (as at 30 June 2019) of irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, as well as PFMA and SABC Procurement Policy breaches. 

Mthembu said some of the cases point to downright criminal activities.

"A total of 186 of the cases that were investigated by the SABC’s Forensic Unit are from the past fiscal. Some of the cases date back a number of years, but were left unresolved or simply abandoned by the previous management," said Mthembu. 

The disciplinary cases being pursued include fraud, mismanagement, sexual harassment, editorial interference, irregular salary increases and irregular appointments. 

"Almost all of these cases point to a sustained culture of impunity and a total collapse of internal controls. The SABC is committed to ensuring that due processes are followed," said Mthembu. 

"The corporation also wants to put on record that the disciplinary processes will be implemented regardless of rank or tenure, and are not meant to purge anyone. 

"It is the responsibility of the leadership team to stabilise the SABC, strengthen governance and ensure that the integrity of the institution restored."

African News Agency/ANA