‘I want SABC job’

2011-01-22 16:51

Former interim SABC board member and outgoing SA Football Association (Safa) chief executive Leslie Sedibe has declared himself available for the public broadcaster’s top position, left vacant this week by the departure of Solly Mokoetle.

When asked if he would be interested in the position of Group CEO (GCEO), Sedibe did not hide the fact that he wanted the post: “I haven’t been ­approached officially and all I know is that due process of advertising the post will be followed and whoever is interested will apply and the best candidate will get it.

Of course I will be interested in the job.”

He was appointed to the SABC’s ­interim board in 2009 after most of the non-executives of former president Thabo Mbeki’s board had resigned.

A lawyer by profession, he has worked in the music industry and ­recently blasted the SABC for giving preferential treatment to cricket.

He has been touted as Mokoetle’s possible replacement.

On Friday the SABC board announced that Mokoetle received a settlement of R3.4?million, which is substantially less than the R14.1-million golden handshake (including ­legal fees) received by former boss Dali Mpofu two years ago.

Mokoetle’s departure leaves the future of Hlaudi Motsoeneng, general manager in the chief executive’s ­office, uncertain.

Motsoeneng, a controversial former Free State regional editor, has become the right-hand man of acting chief executive Robin Nicholson.

At this week’s announcement of Mokoetle’s resignation the two were seen together, although Nicholson did not address the media conference.

Among the charges faced by Mokoetle was Motsoeneng’s allegedly “unauthorised” appointment.Mokoetle told City Press that the charges were of no consequence after his departure.

Professor Ruth Teer-Tomaselli, a former board member, said there was currently nobody at the SABC suited to take over as chief executive.

“They would have to bring in ­someone from outside,” said Teer-Tomaselli, founder of the Centre for Communication, Media and Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

She said the decision to pay out Mokoetle’s contract was the correct one.

“A disciplinary hearing would have been bad for the country and the broadcaster ... It could have been ­prolonged and dirty.”

Teer-Tomaselli believes Mokoetle, a former chief operating officer of the SABC, should never have returned as GCEO.

 “Mokoetle’s great sin is that he sidestepped the board. He made a big mistake by coming back to the SABC. They did not want him back.

“When Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda was fired, Mokoetle lost his power base.

It was a huge vote of no confidence, especially for a minister who is a political favourite, to be fired.

Mokoetle had invested in that relationship,” she said.

The broadcaster’s spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, said the SABC would advertise the GCEO’s position “once all processes are done”.

» ?Meanwhile, suspended former acting chief executive Gab Mampone said he was awaiting the verdict of the chairperson at his Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) hearing.

He took the SABC to the CCMA in March last year, arguing that his suspension as commercial enterprises group executive was unfair.

A Communication Workers’ ­Union source at the SABC said Mampone was also likely to be paid out.

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