Bosasa did not fund SABC 8 media freedom campaign - Deloitte
A forensic inquiry by Deloitte has found no evidence that any payment was made by Bosasa to the SABC 8 campaign in 2016.
This comes after an e-mail emerged in January in which a senior Bosasa official instructed his colleagues to donate R100,000 to the crowdfunding effort to help the group of journalists.
That same month, the group of former and current SABC journalists denied any involvement with the state capture-linked company. "We do not know who the donors were in the crowdfunding initiative, some identified themselves and some remained anonymous," the SABC 8 group said in a statement.
The SA National Editors' Forum requested Deloitte to perform a forensic review into the allegations. Sanef had supported the campaign.
"Based on the information obtained and corroborated from a variety of sources and procedures, Deloitte found no evidence that any payment was made by Bosasa or entity or persons related to Bosasa to the SABC 8 campaign in 2016," Sanef said in a statement on Monday. "This confirms Sanef’s initial response that Bosasa did not donate to the cause."
Sanef chairperson Mahlatse Mahlase said she was satisfied that the Deloitte report put to rest the question as to whether Bosasa contributed to the SABC 8 crowdfunding campaign.
"We never had any doubt that the fund did not receive money from Bosasa, but we wanted an independent forensic auditor to confirm this ... ”
Deloitte performed a number of procedures to assess whether funds had actually been received from Bosasa to support the SABC 8 journalists, who were sacked by former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng for standing up for media freedom, said Sanef.
• Validating the information contained in the detailed spreadsheet of the crowdfunding campaign donors;
• Reviewing the donors to identify any specific association with Bosasa;
• Determining the electronic flow of funds to confirm the use of the funds, and
• Making direct requests to the then Bosasa representatives mentioned in the e-mail to confirm whether such payments were made at the time.
To further assess the allegations, Deloitte was given access to the bank accounts of Sanef, its treasurer and a firm of attorneys for the period in 2016 during which the campaign was active.
Deloitte was further provided with written statements by seven of the SABC 8 journalists (Suna Venter passed away in 2017) and independently confirmed that the only contribution surpassing R100,000 had no links to Bosasa, said Sanef.