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19 September 2012 | Anna Reynolds
The board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has suspended the company’s acting head of procurement and chief financial officer following an investigation into procurement practices.
The first of two concurrent investigations was carried out externally by forensic lawyers into certain practices in procurement, and as a result, the board has decided to suspend its acting head of procurement Nompilo Dlamini. As procurement also fell under the responsibility of the chief financial officer Gugu Duda, SABC asked her to express in writing why action should not be brought against her. Duda refused, and instead presented the board with a letter from her own lawyers.
Following the completion of another investigation, carried out by the SABC internal audit department, further information came to light that the board felt was sufficient to suspend Duda.
SABC has not specified any further detail about the alleged practices, but did say the board was able to identify the “transgressions” having introduced new systems and controls following critical reports from both the South African auditor general and the Special Investigations Unit in 2009 that detailed previous problems with governance financial management at the SABC between 2007 and 2010.
The SABC has asked for a further investigation of the “irregularities” and said the state-owned company will inform parliament and the public as soon as possible as to its next steps.