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JOHANNESBURG - The standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) has called on the staff at the SABC to co-operate with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to dig into the rot at the public broadcaster.

Scopa chairperson Themba Godi made the call yesterday after he met with interim chairperson of the SABC board Khanyisile Kweyama and SIU officials after the latter began with their investigations.

The probe into the SABC started after President Jacob Zuma finally issued a proclamation for the unit to begin its investigation, and yesterday the SIU started with its work.

Godi said he wanted the unit to leave no stone unturned and dig into the rot at the public broadcaster following damning reports of the Public Protector and the ad hoc committee in Parliament.

“I had a meeting with the interim SABC board chairperson and a team from the SIU. The chairperson of the SABC interim board is going to write letters to staff that are going to show why the SIU is there and that they are obligated by the law to be there,” said Godi.

He said he had also met with the staff at the SABC, who expressed full support for the presence of the SIU to investigate wrongdoing.

He said the staff had full confidence in the work of the SIU and believed the unit would be able to get to the bottom of the problems at the SABC.

Godi said while the investigation had no set deadline, the SIU wanted to fast-track the probe.

In his meeting with the unit, the officials were keen to finish the investigation as soon as possible.

The SIU believes they are already catching up on lost time, seeing that the investigation started late.

He said the probe should have started earlier after their meeting with staff at the SABC in March this year.

The SIU had told Scopa at the time that they wanted the probe to begin in August.

However, there was a delay in getting the proclamation by the president.

Godi said he believed that despite these problems, the unit would complete the investigation quickly.

The SABC has been beset with problems for years, amid allegations of corruption amounting to millions of rand.

In the past five years the public broadcaster has suffered massive financial losses.

The SABC is expected to incur a loss of more than R1 billion for the 2016/17 financial year.

Scopa had early this year also questioned the SABC over irregular expenditure of R5.1bn in the past five years.

This resulted in some of the irregular contracts awarded to certain companies being scrapped by the SABC.

 - POLITICAL BUREAU