Political parties yesterday welcomed a police investigation of fraud
allegations against suspended SABC legal services head Mafika Sihlali, writes Borrie La Grange in The Times.
The Times has established that JohannesburgÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s commercial crimes unit is investigating Sihlali for fraud, amounting to about R1,8 million, that was discovered by an internal audit . The audit report fingered Sihlali as authorising ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œinflatedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â payments to law firms to which he had given work.
Democratic Alliance spokeswoman Dene Smuts said: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAt long last there is some action. We can only assume the SABC laid the complaint and now it finally seems [the matter will] be handled correctly.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Smuts said questions put to SABC board members by the parliamentary portfolio committee were not satisfactorily answered.
She said: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œTheir answers have been very evasive. If the allegations in the audit report are true, it amounts to a national scandal. Is their reticence to be explained away by embarrassment? We think they have been a little too correct in pleading procedure in this instance [regarding SihlaliÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s suspension and the police investigation].ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
ID leader Patricia de Lille said SABC chief executive Dali MpofuÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s silence might indicate he was upset that the press got wind of the police investigation.
She said: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHe should be gladthe police are now investigating ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ as it is in the interests of clean administration of the SABCÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s affairs.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Click here to read the full report, posted on the Sunday Times website.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â