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Ex-SABC board challenges damning report on security tender

Image: Waldo Swiegers

Former members of the interim SABC board who oversaw the appointment of a security tender in 2017, are planning to take the report of the SIU on review on the contract, describing the report as baseless.

The board members - former chair Khanyisile Kweyama, Mathatha Tsedu, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, Krish Naidoo and John Matisonn - made the announcement on Tuesday in Sandton. The SIU investigated the appointment of Mafoko Security which was second among the companies which had bid for provision of security to the public broadcaster.

The value of the tender was R185m over five years. Topping the scores was Mjayeli Security with a tender valued at R183m over the same period of time. The interim board chose Mafoko over Mjayeli as it had concerns about the process leading to the appointment of the service provider. Among its concerns was that the safe where the tender documents had been kept was opened without the chairperson of the bid committee being present.

The document had also been tampered with which raised concern to the interim board. The interim board also learned the tender in question had been withdrawn twice after Mjayeli had failed to meet the requirements. In its report, the SIU found that the interim board’s decision was wrong and irregular. Not awarding the tender to Mjayeli was the right decision, however, the interim board should have cancelled the entire process.

The SIU also found that the interim board did not act in the interest of the SABC and its members should therefore be declared delinquent directors. It further recommended that criminal charges be considered against members of the interim board. Kweyama said the SIU report was flawed.

“The SIU recommendations are fatally flawed and contain material errors of fact. The interim board acted at all times on legal advice, which clearly stated that it was not a rubber stamp, was required to apply its mind and act on its best judgment. The Mjayeli tender had been rejected twice before supply chain management recommended it at the last minute,” said Kweyama.

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