The SABC's suspended financial manager, Tian Olivier returned to work today after he was suspended for a whopping five months over unfounded and unproved charges that he "leaked" information to the media about the SABC's expensive World Cup studio.
Tian Olivier – the financial manager at SABC Audience Services and who was the acting SABC CEO before Jimi Matthews took over and who quit weeks ago – was abruptly suspended by the SABC earlier this year.
Tian Olivier was suspended after revelations that the controversial SABC chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng splurged R42.3 million on a new studio commissioned from Vision View Productions, without the contract going to tender.
According to documents, the SABC was allowed to "deviate from normal procurement processes in order to appoint Vision View for the construction of a multipurpose set".
Tian Olivier was suspended on vague and unfounded allegations that he allegedly "leaked" information about the very expensive cost and procurement of the Rugby World Cup SABC set to the media, despite the SABC’s personnel regulation not making provision for a suspension on these allegations.
After five months, and without any communication whatsoever by audit or investigators, the SABC failed to find any evidence of wrongdoing and the trade union Bemawu obtained an arbitration award in favour of Tian Olivier, uplifting his unfair suspension.