Denial is the main theme of Sentech's long-awaited official statement, sent to media this morning in response to a number of allegations made against the state-owned signal distributor, but a number of critical points remain unclear.

Business Day yesterday broke a wide-ranging expose of the company which alleged, among other things, that a massive 100 staff resignations had been received last year, together with 10 so far this year as well as the retrenchment of six key executives.
In the official statement, CEO Dr Sebiletso Mokone-Matabane says she remains confident about the future of Sentech and confirms that management is restructuring the organisation.
"This is to align the company's resources with a revised business strategy that responds to challenges of the business environment. We are currently consulting with employees who are affected and alternative opportunities within Sentech are being explored before retrenchment is considered," she says.
"It is important to note that affected positions have been identified purely for business reasons. We will always act within the letter and spirit of the law. The process will be fair and equitable."
Dr Mokone-Matabane comments, via the statement, that resignation figures quoted are grossly exaggerated.
"If in fact we had the 'mass exodus' reported, we would be unable to operate. Customers will know there has been no interruption to our services and our business processes and service remain intact."
Dr Mokone-Matabane concedes that the ICT sector has experienced a high staff turnover in the last year, which has also affected Sentech. The telecoms industry is particularly prone to staff movement given the launch of the SNO and the boom in the cellular industry, opposite a well known shortage of IT skills.
With reference to the Communications Workers Union agreement, Sentech's current wage agreement lapses in February. Negotiations for the new agreement are taking place, according to the statement.
Attempts by IT-Online to clarify exactly how many staff have, in fact, left the organisation have so far proved unsuccessful.
The Business Day article also raised the issue of funding, with Sentech charged with building a national wireless backbone yet being allocated no budget so far. Meanwhile, the state-owned entity Infraco has been launched, to provide national broadband access, with a budget of R627-million.
In the official statement Dr Pranill Ramchander, portfolio manager: corporate communications at Sentech, comments: "Sentech has been identified as a strategic national asset and as a key service provider for 2010. The government is at present considering various funding options for Sentech, broadband and  digitisation. We remain confident of a satisfactory outcome."
Sentech echoes government comments that Infraco and Sentech are two separate entities with Sentech providing wireless broadband and Infraco laying the cable, says the statement.
"Our reasons for existence are different:  Infraco reports to the Department of Public Enterprises and its assets consist of long-haul fibre (in essence a telecommunications wholesaler). Sentech reports to the Department of Communications and our role is as last mile wireless operator (direct to public)," says Ramchander.
According to the statement, Sentech does not believe it will have its signal carrying services folded back into the SABC and its licences and multimedia assets sold off. It is not aware of any plans by government to do so.
IT-Online has forwarded requests for further information regarding funding and Sentech's ability to ensure the digitised network will be operational for 2010, but these were unanswered at the time of going to press.
Serious allegations of racism and personality clashes were also raised in yesterday's Business Day reports, together with pointed questions about the Sentech board – described as "a game of musical chairs".
In their statement, Dr Mokone-Matabane and Dr Ramchander challenge criticism of the board: "Our board is intact and very competent and we have confidence in all our board members."
In defence of ongoing forensic investigation, they says: "As a state-owned enterprise we adhere to strict corporate governance: if we neglected allegations of corruption it would be irresponsible."