Friday 14th, 2012

The board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) met in an emergency meeting on Thursday, 13 September and issued the following statement: “The board has resolved to suspend the chief financial officer (CFO), Ms Gugu Duda, with immediate effect on a precautionary basis.

“This decision comes after the board received certain information this week from two concurrent investigations. The first, an investigation by external forensic lawyers into certain practices in Procurement, has already resulted in the suspension of the acting head of Procurement.

“Because Procurement falls under the CFO and because the external investigation implicates the CFO, the board asked the CFO in writing to advise why any action should not be taken against her. She refused to sign this letter and instead presented the board with a lawyer’s letter.

“In the second investigation, by the SABC’s Internal Audit department, further and additional information came to the attention of the board today. The board believes the information is sufficient to confirm its decision to suspend her.

“The board has also asked its auditors to investigate an allegation of fraud, related to another matter. The board is determined to fulfil its fiduciary duties and to act in the best interests of the organisation. It has been able to pick up these alleged transgressions after amending its policies to comply with principles of good governance and proper financial management. The new systems and controls arise out of the report of the Auditor General of South Africa in 2009, as well as the report from the Special Investigations Unit which covered transgressions within the SABC between 2007 and 2010.

“The board wishes to express its profound concern and disappointment at these alleged irregularities, which have the potential to severely undermine both good governance and the financial stability of the corporation. We are determined to act against them in a robust manner and ensure that the SABC strictly adheres to good corporate governance.

“It has asked for a full investigation of the irregularities, the results of which will be reported to Parliament and to the public as soon as possible.

“In line with principles of fairness and good labour practice, we appeal to the public to allow the board to complete these processes in accordance with the law. We believe that such a process will determine the innocence or not of those concerned.”