A former SABC executive is under investigation for allegedly wasting tens of millions of rands on useless programmes and giving contracts to friends — including a supplier who claimed to be the father of one of her children, writes Rowan Philp in the Sunday Times.

Matilda Gaboo, head of the broadcaster’s international programme acquisition division until May last year, is alleged to have wasted at least R49-million in two years on overpayments and TV programmes that were not screened.

It has been established that the investigation into Gaboo, 45, was triggered after she dumped a bag containing R121584 cash for business-class air tickets for a close friend, ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa, and her child on the desk of a travel agent.

The Sunday Times is in possession of a preliminary internal audit, which investigated allegations of “mass corruption and gross mismanagement” during Gaboo’s three-year tenure in the department.

It found R38.7-million in wasted money as of September last year. A second audit in the SABC’s ongoing investigation, produced by legal firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr and Comperio Forensics, puts the irregular and wasted expenditure under Gaboo at R49-million as of this week.

This report, presented to the audit committee on Wednesday, warned that the amount “could increase substantially” because only 38 out of 165 of Gaboo’s deals had been analysed.

With the SABC already projecting a R784-million deficit, experts said a full audit might show that a single manager swelled the broadcaster’s bank overdraft by more than R100-million.

Click here to read the full report, posted on thetimes.co.za.