18 May 2017

South Africa: Sekelaxabiso Denies Wrongdoing in SABC Contract

The company the SABC contracted to help it put a stop to irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure on Thursday rejected claims that its appointment was irregular.

"It is regrettable that we have inadvertently been embroiled in matters of internal SABC procurement processes over which we have absolutely no control," SekelaXabiso (SkX) said in a statement.

It was issued following "a number of negative media reports" about its contractual relationship with the SABC, which followed Wednesday's meeting of the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa).

"We therefore reject the insinuations made that seek to associate our engagement by the SABC with criminality. We pledge, if required, to co-operate with whatever processes that might be reviewing our and other service provider engagements as we have nothing to hide."

SkX said it aimed to enhance the governance, risk management and financial controls of the organisations it worked with. It had ensured that the SABC accepted the outcomes of its work.

MPs on Scopa on Wednesday described the SABC's contract with SkX as irregular.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the Auditor General were investigating the contract. The SIU's report is due by August.

According to information before Scopa, SkX was granted three contracts totaling R24.9m between April 2015 and July 2017.

A contract from April 7 to July 31, 2015, was worth R4.7m. The second one, between December 1, 2015, and July 31, 2016, was worth R10.4m. The third, from November 1, 2016, to July 31, 2017, was worth R9.8m.

Meanwhile, the irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure continued at the SABC. Irregular expenditure amounted to R5.1bn and fruitless and wasteful expenditure to R74m over the past five financial years.

ANC MP Ezekiel Kekana said it was clear the contract was illegal.

DA MP Alf Lees concurred. "I think we are dealing with criminality, to an extent that is unimaginable," he said.

Source: News24

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