Letter to Mr Ismail Vadi (Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of Communications) regarding "Major corruption at SABC acquisitions" from Bantu Holomisa, MP - UDM President (5 November 2009)

Dear Sir

You will recall that during our recent deliberations on the troubles of the SABC, the Committee deliberated on the wasteful expenditure in relation to the acquisition of international content.

I’m disturbed that at the time we – the Committee – were not fully informed of the real issues and the extent of the suspected corruption. I have now received extracts from what appears to be a legitimate internal audit report of the SABC (purportedly drafted in June 2009) which indicate massive wasteful expenditure and corrupt activity. The report lists a range of evidence (including names, financials, emails etc). The report finds that this corruption sprouts from an undeclared romantic/intimate relationship between an SABC employee (Ms Gaboo, SABC General Manager: International Content) and at least two SABC suppliers. With regards to the one supplier Ms Gaboo signed off on US$5.247 million in contracts, whilst for the other supplier Ms Gaboo signed off on more than US$2 million of contracts and consultancy fees.

I attach a copy of the documentation I received.

I think it is vital that the Portfolio Committee should urgently summon the relevant people and demand answers to the following questions:

1. Whether the new, interim and old Boards of the SABC were aware of this report (or the situation described therein) and why they withheld this information from the Committee when we were asking questions about the exorbitant prices paid for international content (much of which was not even broadcast)?

2. Who is “Mr. Bux” – the owner of Fairmead Consultancy – who was/is also involved in another former SABC supplier? The name seems manufactured and the company is registered in the Isle of Man (a haven for the stereotypical “front company”-operation used by organised criminals and fraudsters). According to correspondence between Ms Gaboo and him, they have a daughter (who is also employed at Fairmead, further exacerbating the conflict of interest).

3. Who is “Mr. Deitch” – the director of All Action TV, who also registered another company (Picture Image Ltd) in London and then received contracts from Ms Gaboo? You will note there is a similarity in modus operandi (including Ms Gaboo requesting personal and household items from both men when they return from trips abroad – much as one would expect a spouse or partner to phrase such requests). Indeed, one has to wonder whether Ms Gaboo is intimately involved with two men, both of whom own several companies supplying to the SABC, or whether it is two aliases for the same man?

4. When were these issues first investigated by the SABC and what action has been taken to discipline/prosecute the offenders and recover the funds?

I’m certain that other members of the committee will have a variety of additional questions once they’ve had an opportunity to peruse the documents. It will be appreciated if we could discuss this in the Committee at the earliest possible opportunity.

Yours sincerely
Bantu Holomisa, MP

Back to 2009 Archive