The SABC Board is not serious about the ongoing fruitless and wasteful expenditure at the SABC.
We have seen NO action at all taken against managers involved in some of the most serious cases of fruitless and wasteful expenditure. This lack of action demonstrates a general absence of political will by the Board to do what is legally required of them as the responsible governing body of the SABC. By not taking any action at all, alternatively by ignoring the legislated action required by the PFMA, naturally means that the Board condones the fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and consequently aligns itself with same.
For instance, the Durban 4 (0r 5 when we add Shereldene Hamman) case has resulted in fruitless and wasteful expenditure according to latest very reliable information of R8 Million Rand. One case about 6 employees that did not steal a cent from the SABC, or attempted to steal a cent from the SABC. They merely tendered for old, obsolete vehicles which the SABC wanted to get rid off. In the first round of tenders, one employee won the tender on 7 vehicles. Legally, rightfully and honestly. So did Zakes Dube, Nokothula Luthuli and all the witnesses testified. Luthuli and Dube did not like this, and decided to unilaterally and unlawfully change the Policy in respect of the number of vehicles an employee may buy. He called it "empowerment" which he explained to be that he wanted every employee to have the opportunity to buy a vehicle. In other words, no sound financial principles where the highest bidder will win, and the SABC makes maximum profit on the vehicles, which naturally means the more you get for your old vehicles, the less (public, and therefore TV Licence) money you have to spent on new vehicles. In any event, his warped mathematics and logic did not make any sense at all, for more than one reason. There were much more employees than vehicles. Also, in other regions no limit whatsoever were put on the number of vehicles a single person could buy.
So Dube and Luthuli then decided to take back the vehicles that the one employee legally, rightfully and honestly won by tender, and they issued a rule that has never existed before, which does not appear in the Tender Policy and which was unlawful, unreasonable but most of all financially stupid. The rule that each employee may only tender for one vehicle.
This rule was never applied to other people, as most employees went ahead and tendered for more than one vehicle. The six employees tendered for vehicles, they were successful and they all sold their vehicles on for a small profit. They were then charged and it was alleged that they tendered on behalf of the one employee. So no dishonesty, no fraud, no misrepresentation and most importantly, no loss of any money to the SABC as a result of their actions, but rather several thousands of loss due to Dube and Luthuli's decision to re-auction the vehicles, and it was sold for less in the second tender.
And then the SABC's hangmen then moved in. Khoma, Ralitabo and their cronies. 4 Employees were dismissed, and 1 were, and still is on full paid suspension. 3 Years on full paid suspension, even after we have won the case at the CCMA!
At best these employees should have been called in and reprimanded.
Just as an example how unfair the SABC conducts their hearings, and why we have no faith and trust in the internal hearings, as we believe the outcome is pre-determined, it came out during the arbitration that the panel discussed and already decided to dismiss the employees even before evidence in mitigation was presented.
How did we know this?
They accidentally left on their own tape recorder and it was transcribed and handed in as part of the record of the disciplinary hearing! We have all the documentation to support everything said here and the tapes.
So what else did the SABC do to these poor employees, their First Citizens?
They were arrested without a warrant, appeared in Court once, and for three years thereafter never again. So the R8 Million Rand is not all, lawsuits may follow for the false charges pressed against the employees, which could result in a further R 6 Million or more cost to the SABC. So who arrested them? The policeman of Organised Crime who himself was arrested for corruption who has admitted that his wife and Luthuli are close friends! It goes without saying the case against the policeman was swept under the carpet.
Also Hamman and Ramiah's salaries were suspended. It resulted in Hamman losing her property and being blacklisted at the credit bureau. So more civil lawsuits to be come against the SABC, pushing up the cost of this case to possibly R15 M. Surely the SABC must give back Hamman's property that she has lost due to their illegal actions. We say illegal actions, as we shortly after she has lost her property, we brought an urgent application to have their salaries re-instated, which we have won with costs.
Al of this said, each and every one involved in this matter who worked with Dube and Luthuli to cause this fruitless and wastefull expenditure of a definite R 8M and a possible R15 M are still employed by the SABC and they are still on a daily basis involved in doing this to their employees too.
How ever can any Board overlook this kind of expenditure without asking any questions, without taking any action and without putting any measures in place to prevent same?
We are seeing a repetition of this going to happen at Lotus FM, where the program manager has been unfairly and unprocedurally suspended. Again in KZN, again Dube, Luthuli and Khabo from HR involved. Same people, different victim. We see Ntenteni and Soko defending these actions. We on our way to the CCMA with an unfair suspension. Will the hearing follow, and will the same executioners also dismiss the program manager, Beharie? We don't know. Looks like it.
What we know is we will in the same manner continue to defend and protect our members rights.
What we also know is that to condone the wastage of R8 Million on one case can never go unnoticed by a responsible Board.