News24

SABC appoints new CEO

2009-12-15 21:17

Johannesburg - The SABC has appointed former Telkom Media chief content officer Solly Mokoetle as its group chief executive officer, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The decision to appoint Mr Mokoetle was based on his experience and a proven track record during the time the SABC was profitable, making him the most suitable candidate," the broadcaster's interim board chair Irene Charnley said.

"The board is confident that his appointment will provide the required leadership to turn around the SABC while maintaining public broadcasting mandate."

Mokoetle, who was the SABC's chief operations officer between 2001 and December 2006, takes up office from January 1 on a five-year contract. His appointment followed a R11m settlement by the broadcaster to former CEO Dali Mpofu in August.

Mpofu had taken the public broadcaster to court after he was suspended for suspending then head of news and current affairs Snuki Zikalala. Mpofu accused Zikalala of leaking confidential documents to other media outlets.

Bitter rivalry

The board in turn suspended Mpofu on May 7 2008, saying he had no authority to act against Zikalala. In June, the High Court in Johannesburg dismissed with costs the SABC's appeal against reinstating Mpofu.

The judge ruled that then SABC board chair Khanyi Mkhonza was caught up in the bitter rivalry between Mpofu and Zikalala, whose contract as head of news and current affairs ended in April.

But in August the two parties reached an agreement that Mpofu would be paid out.

Charnley said the process of replacing Mpofu was started by the previous board, and that it had shortlisted candidates for the position. When the interim board took over, it re-advertised the position "for the sake of transparency".

The interim board recommended Mokoetle to Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda following an intensive interviewing process.

Mokoetle left the SABC in December 2006 following a 12-year stint there. He started working at the SABC in 1994 on his return from exile as one of the team of executives assigned to transform the SABC from state broadcaster to a "true national public broadcaster".

"He performed various leadership functions within the radio and television services and ended up as COO from 2001 until December 2006," Charnley said.