New allegations of financial impropriety have rocked the SABC, days after the corporation announced it was almost R800-million in the red and planning to ask the government to guarantee loans estimated at up to R2-billion, writes Edwin Naidu in the Sunday Independent.

The SABC faces a fight for its financial future after losing its Standard Bank overdraft facility. And the Communications Workers' Union blames irregular financial activities in the office of Strini Naicker, general manager of sales for radio and television, not the global credit crisis.

"The union has evidence that the financial mess is a direct result of the misappropriation of funds, and this is far more than what is being acknowledged by management," it said on Friday.

Sales revenue has fallen by R400m in the financial year that ends this month. Industry experts say rivals and channels in the MultiChoice DStv bouquet have not seen anything similar.

Naicker was accused by the union of nepotism, selling advertising at heavily discounted rates and publishing inconsistent tariffs in rate cards, resulting in advertisers pulling out.

The union said because of the evidence it had, staff wanted Naicker removed from his post.

Naicker denied the claims, saying he was being targeted by a small group of staff who wanted to remain in the "comfort zone" of the past and not embrace innovative ideas aimed at saving jobs and taking the organisation forward."

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