South African Broadcasting Corporation's boss Dali Mpofu is back in the spotlight after a man he hired, now stands accused of defrauding the broadcaster of at least R1.8-million, writes Buddy Naidu in Sunday Times.
Mpofu has yet to suspend SABC legal head Mafika Sihlali who, an internal audit found, spent millions in various dodgy deals. The SABC group chief executive was advised to suspend Sihlali in April pending a probe into his irregular spending.

Mpofu has business links with Sihlali in at least nine companies whose interests range from mining to investments and financial services.

The internal investigation followed two anonymous letters sent to the SABC board members earlier this year detailing alleged corruption and mismanagement by senior managers – including Mpofu.

Board chairman Eddie Funde declined to say whether managers other than Sihlali were under investigation.

He said: "We really can't talk about the investigations that we are conducting until they are completed … this an internal process that we are busy looking at."

A report compiled by the broadcaster's group internal audit unit reveals how Sihlali:

  • Authorised millions in lawyers' fees to his own law firm and two others with which he has links. Oilgate lawyer Barry Aaron's firm was paid double for at least three jobs;
  • Failed to declare his business interests in 28 companies when joining the SABC on August 1 2006;
  • Failed to declare his relationship with Aaron, to whom he gave work . This after Aaron represented him in several personal matters prior to him joining the SABC;
  • Verbally harassed at least two senior female staffers and, in one instance, threatened to break a woman's legs; and
  • Used an SABC Mercedes- Benz since December at a cost of R129000 – despite receiving a car allowance and not being allowed to use pool cars.

    The damning report could place Mpofu's job on the line after a series of controversies since his appointment in 2005.

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