Has SABC boss quit?

2014-01-29 15:09

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A well-placed source at the SABC as well as a recent former senior staffer have told City Press the head of the public broadcaster – Group Chief Executive Officer Lulama Mokhobo – has tendered her resignation.

But the SABC has not confirmed or denied the rumour.

City Press was following up on speculation generated by a tweet from the Broadcasting Electronic Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu). Posted yesterday, it read: “Lulama Mokhobo, SABC CEO has resigned!”

Contacted for comment, though, Bemawu said “members within the building” had told the union “there is a strong unconfirmed rumour she has resigned”.

The union admitted they had mistakenly believed that an announcement had already been made by SABC.

City Press repeatedly tried to contact Mokhobo, but her phone went unanswered.

When contacted by City Press, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: “All I know is that I don’t know. I have just arrived from Cape Town and am heading to the office now. We will issue a statement if there is one to be issued.”

If the news is true, then this leaves the SABC without a single permanent group executive in office, just acting executives.

Read: Lulama Mokhobo: Captain of the bumpy airwaves

The broadcaster’s first female CEO has had to sail the SABC through stormy seas since taking up her position in 2012.

Recovering from a financial crisis, a series of scandals have rocked the broadcaster, including the recent dissolution of the board.

As reported in City Press, Mokhobo has been implicated in the Public Protector’s investigation into the SABC in a report titled The Blame Game.

A final version of that report is due “soon”, according to Public Protector spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi. Asked if it would be this week, she said “no, but very soon”.

The provisional report concluded that Mokhobo should be brought to book for maladministration.

The report recommends disciplinary action against her “for her abuse of power and improper conduct in the appointments and salary increments” of the SABC’s controversial acting COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng and his associate Ms Sully Motsweni.

In the report, the board is also urged to “recover all monies irregularly spent through unlawful and improper actions”, as well as the salary hikes of Motsoeneng and Motsweni.

The Public Protector’s investigation began in 2012 after complaints from disgruntled SABC staff members. The report lists 14 current and former staff members who were suspended or fired unfairly.

The report also lambasts the “fruitless and wasteful expenditure” on drawn-out labour disputes with these employees and recommends that the SABC publicly apologise to them.

There is speculation that Mokhobo may feel pressured to resign because of the report.

A source close to her has told City Press that “corporate governance issues” within the SABC have made it impossible for her to do her job.

There is speculation that she and Motsoeneng have repeatedly found themselves at loggerheads.

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