The Special Investigations Unit's (SIU) damning report regarding the SABC's irregular awarding of a security tender worth R185 million to Mafoko Security in 2017 has been vindicated by the Johannesburg High Court.
The report issued in 2019 found evidence of irregularities in the SABC interim board’s awarding of a security contract to Mafoko Security Patrols to provide security service despite the company not being the recommended service provider.
On Tuesday (October 10), the High Court in Johannesburg ordered that the June 30, 2017, decision by the interim board to award a contract worth R185 million to Mafoko Security be set aside.
The security tender commenced on August 1, 2017, for five years, to the tune of R185 519 425, 61, a staggering R2 300 955,43 more than the initial contract price offered by the recommended alternative bidder, Mjayeli Security.
As part of the court's orders, Mafoko Security Services must, within 30 days, submit audited statements of the expenses incurred in the performance of its obligation, in terms of the tender, the income received, and the net profit it would have earned at the end of the contract.
The SABC board was instructed to obtain independent audited verification within 60 days.
Following this, the court will then determine the profits to be paid back by Mafoko to the public broadcaster or the SIU.
Kaizer Kganyago, the SIU spokesperson, said the unit equally welcomed the High Court's decision to dismiss the former interim board's application for the report, which recommended they be declared delinquent, to be reviewed and set aside.
An application was brought forward by four members of the former interim board submitted to the court that the SIU report was irrational, unconstitutional and contravened the principle of legality, and furthermore, that it went beyond the scope of the president's proclamation.
The High Court, however, dismissed the application, ruling that the SIU had acted in accordance with the proclamation, which included investigating maladministration.
‘’The court reference to the King Code on Good Governance underscores the requirements, as also provided for in the Public Finance Management Act, for the Boards of Directors to always act in the interest of state institutions,’’ said advocate Andy Mothibi, the Head of the SIU.
‘’The SIU has at all times emphasized that all those involved in causing losses to state institutions should be held to account, irrespective of their level in the state institution, including members of the Accounting Authority,’’ he added.