An SABC junket costing R4m has become the centre of a row between management and board members of the national broadcaster, writes Jocelyn Newmarch in Business Day.


The broadcaster is expected to record a substantial financial loss this year.

A highly placed source told Business Day three nonexecutive board members and a senior executive insisted on their last-minute inclusion with their partners on the week-long trip to the Beijing Olympics. This, he said, added a substantial amount to costs as the broadcaster had been unable to take advantage of early booking discounts.

But SABC chairwoman Khanyi Mkonza denied the allegations, saying the board had slashed the budget from R6m to R4m, and that most of the 36-strong delegation was the production team.

"There's absolutely nothing abnormal," she said.

Mkonza said no extra guests were included on the list as the board members had simply taken up places that had been left vacant.

The SABC invited industry players to these events, such as the South African Football Association and Premier Soccer League, and some of those invited had declined, Mkonza said.

Suspended CEO Dali Mpofu had also been included on the original list by management, but Mkonza said she had vetoed this.

The matter came to light when Independent Democrats chief whip Lance Greyling alleged that the public broadcaster was sending a "large delegation" to the Games, including officials who were not required to be there to help with the broadcast to SA.

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