Sentech investigation returns damning findings

Sebiletso Mokone-Matabane, SENTECH CEO (image source: Sentech)
A report conducted by a task team appointed by South Africa’s Communications Minister Sphiwe Nyanda in 2009, to investigate the ailing signal distributor, Sentech, reveals a net loss of R123 million for the previous financial year and numerous irregularities, according to the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA).

Following the investigation, the team found various irregularities, including a payment of R13,6 million to eight suppliers, without following procurement processes. They also found unbilled services of R30,8 million, security cameras purchased by the company, but not installed (this lead to a R2million theft) and the absence of a formal process flow among departments.

The auditors also reported irregular expenditure of the interest on a finance lease of R8.2 million taken without Treasury’s approval, unjustified expenses on a business trip to Sweden at a R1,2 million cost for the chief executive and members of the board, the full time employment of a bodyguard without any signed contract resulting in costs of R262, 126 a year and an additional R945, 844 payment for services not rendered.

Sentech Chairman, Colin Hickling, was advised to step down on his meeting with minister Nyanda. Although confirming the meeting, he refused to comment the allegations. The entire board at Sentech is expected to hand in its resignation, including Chief Executive Sebiletso Mokone-Matabane.