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SABC investigates ghost workers

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It was reported that the public broadcaster has since acted against one of the implicated persons following this scandal.

The SABC building in Auckland Park. Picture: Karen Sandison Independent Newspapers

YET another state-owned entity has been hit by the issue of ghost workers after the SABC became the latest parastatal to lodge an investigation into the matter.

According to a widely circulated email that the SABC has described as “fake”, current SABC group news and current affairs executive Moshoeshoe Monare has come under fire after a forensic investigation uncovered the existence of ghost workers who are being paid undisclosed sums of money through this scheme.

It was reported that the public broadcaster has since acted against one of the implicated persons following this scandal.

“SABC’s group executive for news and current affairs, Moshoeshoe Monare under fire after head of news operations Livhuwani Mutshatshi was found guilty for allegedly hiring and paying ‘ghost’ workers,” the source said.

It is reported that the investigation into the scandal uncovered that there were at least 20 such workers being paid by the public broadcaster.

“An internal report has found that at least 20 ‘ghost’ workers benefited from the SABC over the past six months. The contracts of the ‘ghost’ workers included Monare, SABC News head of output Mlunghisi Shivamba (and) SABC News channel head Lumko Jimlongo’s signatures,” the source claimed.

According to this source, it was also revealed that Mutshatshi tried to resign, but was prevented from doing so by the SABC.

Mutshatshi is also accused of having tried to sprinkle muthi in Monare’s office.

According to those close to the situation, last month Monare called security staff to escort her after she was caught spitting what many say is “muthi” inside his office.

The SABC said it had noted with concern an anonymous email regarding the matter of ghost workers. In a statement, SABC spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo said the investigation was launched by Monare.

“The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has noted with concern the contents of an anonymous email on social media regarding the payment of ‘ghost workers’ at the SABC News division.

“Group executive of news Moshoeshoe Monare launched the investigation, with one of the managers under investigation tendering their resignation with immediate effect, while other staff members are facing disciplinary processes.

“The matter is (being) addressed within the SABC’s human resources policies and will also be referred to the other relevant authorities for further investigation,” Seapolelo said.

Seapolelo said the SABC would like to set the record straight on some of the claims made in the anonymous email.

“The SABC would also like to appeal to the public to refrain from distributing the fake email that contains unverified information,” she said.

Monare confirmed to The Star that he had launched an investigation but declined to comment further on the contents of the investigation, saying everything had been communicated through the official SABC media statement.

“I would rather you stick to the official SABC statement, which details everything. However, I am the one who launched this investigation and I cannot then be a ghost worker myself when I am the one who launched the investigation as the fake email that has been circulating said I am also a ghost worker myself,” he said.

After promising to speak to us at 6pm on Sunday, Mutshatshi failed to answer our return call to her.

“I want to give you my side of the strong as well. Please give me until 6pm to prepare my response,” she said.

Monare added that Jimlongo and Shivamba were not in any way the subject of the investigation as they were the ones who had blown the whistle on the scandal.

“My worry is that relying on this anonymous source will amplify untruths as Shivamba and Jimlongo were not investigated as they are the ones who alerted me on the issue of ghost employees. If you are going to do this story, I need you to keep to the statement,” he said.

Another SOE that has been dogged by ghost workers include the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) which last year uncovered 3,000 ghost employees. And in 2021, the Umsunduzi Municipality was haunted by more than 100 ghost employees.

The Star

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