Outa may lay charges against Muthambi over SABC crisis

Outa says it’s not ruled out the possibility of charging the minister for her so-called complicity in the SABC’s issues.

FILE: Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) says it has not ruled out the possibility of laying charges against Communications Minister Faith Muthambi for her so-called complicity in the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) crisis.

Last week Outa opened a criminal case against Hlaudi Motsoeneng, several SABC board members and managers, on charges including fraud, misrepresentation and racketeering.

The organisation's Wayne Duvenage says they've submitted a dossier of evidence relating to irregular SABC tenders to the police.

“Mr Motsoeneng and others have intervened in a prior procurement process which was carried out properly. They halted that and signed contracts with Vision View. This without due process being followed and without the board sanctioning the deal. We are supplementing our charges this week and a lot of people will have to be held accountable. We will not let this go.”

Eyewitness News is in the possession of documents and board minutes released by a whistle-blower that show that a legitimate tender for refurbishing a studio was abruptly cancelled and awarded to Vision View.

The price for the refurbishment appears to be grossly over inflated.

Finance managers who attempted to bring the procurement irregularities to the board's attention were suspended.

It shows the cancellation of a valid tender by various parties, including Motsoeneng and then CFO James Aguma, who is now the acting CEO.

The documents allege the cancellation forms part of a collusive deal to award R42 million to refurbish a multipurpose studio.

Acting group executive of risk government Tian Olivier wrote a scathing report to the board about fraud at the SABC, but the letter was stopped from reaching the board.

Olivier was then suspended.

Meanwhile, Motsoeneng has declined to comment on documents.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)