A forensic investigation into claims of mismanagement and abuse of funds, among others, has implicated “some of the executive and senior management” of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) the department of arts and culture has confirmed. By Charl Blignaut
The department has not made the detailed findings public yet as they are still being dealt with internally.
An investigation was commissioned following an outcry over an open letter sent to Minister of Arts Nathi Mthethwa.
In the letter, a bulk of NFVF staff complained bitterly about workplace conditions and made numerous claims of corruption and irregularity.
Chief executive Zama Mkosi, the chief financial officer as well as the NFVF’s council were among those accused by staff of wrongdoing.
City Press investigated several of the letter’s claims including splurging of taxpayers’ money at home and abroad.
In the course of our investigations claims were also made about the NFVF’s council chair Phil Molefe.
There was further drama at the crucial film development body when a union accused Mkosi of freezing them out as she began restructuring the organisation, ostensibly to get rid of whistleblowers.
Pressed for an update, department spokesperson Zimasa Velaphi on Saturday told City Press: "The department conducted a forensic investigation into the allegations received from the concerned staff of the NFVF.
Compere Forensics was appointed by the department to conduct the investigation on its behalf. The investigation has since been completed and a report was delivered to the department on 2 March 2018."
The report was communicated to the NFVF council for their information and consideration, prior to the formal tabling of the report to them.
This was accompanied by a letter from the minister to the chairperson of the council informing them of the completion and outcome of the investigation, as well as their expected fiduciary responsibility of ensuring that there is remedial/corrective action, having noted the seriousness of the findings against some of the executive and senior management of the NFVF.
The tabling of the investigation report to the NFVF council took place on 27 March 2018. This was for the purposes of ensuring that council understands the report and is also enabled to implement appropriate remedial actions recommended explained Velaphi.
“To date, the department has taken note that council has initiated the process of implementing some of the corrective measures recommended against those implicated for wrong doing in the investigation report and will continue to update the department. The department is also following up on progress with the chairperson of the council to ensure decisive and speedy action,” said Velaphi
Molefe also responded to queries from City Press, saying, “The forensic investigators tabled the report [and] the investigating team is finalising the report following the inputs made at that meeting. The NFVF continues to implement measures to address the matter. A full statement will be issued at the appropriate moment.”