MPs have issued a stern warning to SABC employees "undermining" probes into colleagues pocketing millions through insider contracts and into unauthorised tenders, writes Siyabonga Mkhwanazi in the Daily News.

The National Assembly communications committee yesterday called on the interim SABC board to identify employees responsible for failing to provide information to investigators so that appropriate action could be taken.

MPs were briefed yesterday by auditor-general Terrence Nombembe on a probe into financial mismanagement amounting to hundreds of millions of rands at the public broadcaster.

Nombembe found that no proper procedures were followed in the awarding of some contracts, tenders and acquisition of international content.
He has recommended that criminal charges be laid against SABC employees involved in the alleged misappropriation of funds.

Former SABC chief executive Dali Mpofu and a former head of legal and business advisory services at the SABC are alleged to have entered into a R326 million agreement with a consultant in 2006, without obtaining the necessary approval from the board.

Other allegations relate to the flouting of regulations by senior managers in awarding tenders valued at more than R215m.

MPs were shocked at the extent of the alleged wrongdoing.

IFP MP Narend Singh said it made "our hair stand on end".

He said the interim board should have suspended senior managers implicated in wrongdoing to prevent them interfering with the investigation.

"There are many scripts that the auditor-general has written (before). This one takes the Oscar or the dummy award. Where were (the SABC's) internal auditors?" asked Singh.

ANC MP Johnny de Lange said the committee should be given the names of the SABC employees undermining the investigation by withholding information.

He said the matter needed to be finalised speedily and the committee did not want staff impeding the investigation.

The former deputy minister of justice was supported by COPE MP Julie Killian, who said individuals standing in the way of the probe should be identified.

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