Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Please resign, Dr Ngubane!!!




The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU) is demanding the resignation of the Chairperson of the SABC Board, Dr Ben Ngubane, says Mr Hannes du Buisson, President of the Union.  He says Dr Ngubane’s statement on 18 October 2011 to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications that a senior SABC official, Mr Justice Ndaba, is an “outsider” (consultant) and not a permanent employee of the SABC, was a blatant lie and the last straw.


SABC staff records show that Mr Justice Ndaba was appointed by an SABC Board Member in the Corporation’s Turnaround Planning Unit (TPU) on a one-year Fixed-term Contract.  This was done outside of the SABC’s approved governance structures and recruitment processes.  At the time, Mr Solly Mokoetle (former Group Chief Executive of the SABC) raised the same issue with the Board.  Mr Ndaba was then reassigned by the Chairperson of the Board to act as Head of Strategy as well as Head of Human Capital Services – still as a permanent employee.  Dr Ngubane is acutely aware of this appointment, and of the fact that Mr Ndaba is a senior employee and acting Group Executive of the SABC.  Mr Ndaba has attended all Board Meetings.  Dr Ngubane signed off the SABC's Financial Statements, the very same presented in Parliament yesterday.


The question arises whether he had not read the financial statements?  On page 140 of the Annual Report, Mr Ndaba is listed as Senior Management, Acting Group Executive, earning a salary of R450 000 for the 2010/11 fiscal.


It is misconduct in the extreme to lie to Parliament – dismissible misconduct.  The same type of misconduct the honourable Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Mr Kholwane, referred to yesterday when the issue of the former CFO of ICASA was discussed.  BEMAWU wishes to applaud Mr Kholwane andmembers of the Portfolio Committee for the manner in which they have interrogated ICASA about the “golden handshake” given to ICASA’s former CFO.  This will most certainly send a strong message to every board of every organisation answerable to Parliament, not to work recklessly with tax money.  There is risk involved in all disciplinary action and litigation, and to pay senior management enormous sums of money for fear of those risks is wrong and liable.


BEMAWU’s request to Dr Ngubane for certain information has simply been ignored.  The Union has reason to believe that the Company Secretary, Ms Thelma Melk, has been suspended without a Board resolution.  Ms Melk is not a BEMAWU member, but we are concerned about corporate governance not being complied with by the Chairperson of the Board.  We have requested a copy of the Board resolution to suspend Ms Melk.  To date, the Union has not received a reply, let alone the requested resolution.  We are of the view that the Company Secretary is being victimised and pushed out because of her insistence on adherence to corporate governance.


Furthermore, the SABC Board under the leadership of Dr Ngubane refused and/or failed to approve the tender originally won by Wesbank to supply SABC News with rental vehicles.  This resulted in an untenable situation, with news crews virtually grounded for as long as six months and not being able to cover stories.  This has severely damaged the SABC’s reputation and name and has made SABC News the laughing stock of the news fraternity.  In the process, the SABC failed in its public service broadcasting mandate to inform, educate and entertain South Africans.


According to a Sunday newspaper, the Chairperson of the Board refused to co-operate in an Internal Audit investigation into Mr Ndaba's appointment.  The Sunday Times reports that Dr Ngubane also refused to release a report from Stuart Spencer, a recruitment consultant who had interviewed Mr Ndaba prior to hisappointment.  SABC Spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, has denied this, saying that the Chairperson had ordered the investigation.  If this is true, why doesn’t he make available Spencer Stuart’s report?


Issued by:  Hannes du Buisson

President:  Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU)

19 October 2011

It's all smoke and mirrors, babe...

Yesterday the SABC board chairperson, Dr Ben Ngubane told Parliament Mr Justice Ndaba is not an employee of the SABC, but an outsider! Who then is the Juctice Ndaba who was introduced by the SABC and who introduced himself as the Acting Head of Human Capital Services and Acting Head of Strategy?

Which Juctice Ndaba attended Board and EXCO meetings? It cannot be the outsider Justice Ndaba because outsiders have never attended those meetings and it would be highly improper for outsiders to attend SABC Board and EXCO meetings. Which Dr Ngubane chaired those meetings well knowing the Mr Ndaba in attendance is not the outsider, but the properly appointed one? Which Dr. Ngubane chaired Board meetings with the outsider Ndaba in attendance, and allowed an outsider to sit in very strategic Board and EXCO meetings?

Which Dr Ngubane's Board Member appointed which Mr Ndaba on a one year Fixed Term contract in the TPU (Turnaround Planning Unit) outside the approved structures and which Dr Ngubane then, without approval appointed a Mr Ndaba as the acting Head of Strategy and later acting Head of Human Capital Services too?

And which Board signed off the SABC's financial statements where on page 140 a Mr Ndaba has been listed as Senior Management, Acting Group Executive and he earned a salary of R450 000 for the fiscal?

Since when does outsiders travel on SABC expenses, introduce themselves on news conferences as the Acting Head of Human Capital Services and Strategy and appoint people and sign contracts on behalf of the SABC?

Which Juctice Ndaba attended Executive Management training in London and was supposed to go to Singapore and Dubai? Which Juctice Ndaba claimed S&T from the SABC's coffers? No outsider can claim S&T!

And which Juctice has intimate knowledge of the altercation in London between those woman our conservative parents warned us against and Executive Management Course attendees?

Full-time employees must not take any instructions from fake people and outsiders. By law they are only obliged to comply with instructions from their managers, who naturally must be employees of the SABC.

Which Board is responsible for not approving the R60m tender won by Wesbank? This matter is believed to be on Board Agenda since the new board was appointed. Is it not gross negligence, failure to exercise proper oversight and dereliction of duties? Is it not bringing the SABC's name in disrepute, if that is still possible? If the contract with Debis came to an end as has been claimed on p. 25 of the Annual Report, why did SABC went ahead to hire vehicles from them?

Who hired Deloite Consulting without following the procurement process, and what broadcasting experience does they have? In fact, who are they? Why do they have to travel to the BBC on a frequent basis? Why do they solicit input from SABC employees, and present same as their work? What exactly have they been paid at least R27m for? What, which we have not seen to date has resulted in this huge expense?

How much more Juctices or is it Justices work for the SABC? And why do we now get the impression the real or the fake Justice is now being thrown away by the Board like an unwanted love child of a married man? By stating publicly Mr Ndaba is an outsider opens a completely new can of worms, in terms of corporate governance, oversight, wrong procedures, etc. Is it time for another AG investigation? Maybe to determine who is who in the Zoo?

Is this the real SABC? Maybe there is another SABC we don't know about, which is the real SABC. Maybe that SABC is managed by real people, a real Board and they really cares about Public Broadcasting and its employees, it's image and the citizens who are entitled to a neutral effective and efficient public service.

Let's find that SABC!

Hannes du Buisson