News24

Out of jail, into an SABC job

2001-10-05 23:03

Only days after his release from prison on charges of culpable homicide and driving under the influence of liquor, Thami Ntenteni was appointed managing consultant for strategic initiatives at the SABC.

Ntenteni, a former spokesperson for President Thabo Mbeki, was sentenced to seven years in prison in the Randburg MagistratesÆ Court on December 5, 1998. He effectively served five years of his prison term.

His sentence followed on a car accident in 1997 in which a woman died and three people were injured.

He was also found guilty on November 30, 1994 of driving under the influence of liquor.

Correctional Service Department spokesperson Russel Mamabolo on Friday confirmed that Ntenteni had been released from prison on September 3 this year.

Ntenteni has been in the service of the SABC since mid September.

'Scarce'

Newly appointed communications manager Tango Lamani in the office of executive group chief Peter Matlare on Friday said NtenteniÆs post was not advertised. The SABC had approached him for the post.

In terms of SABC policy Matlare was entitled to make appointments without having to advertise the post, as technical advisors were scarce, he said.

Lamani said he was not sure whether Ntenteni had been approached for the job offer while he was still in prison.

"We are aware of NtenteniÆs past. He has paid his debt to society. He should be given a second chance. He brings excellent skills to the broadcasting industry."

Matlare announced the appointment of Ntenteni and several other members of the SABC senior management on Friday.

Judi Nwokedi was appointed managing director of public broadcasting services, Mark Jakins was appointed director of group sales and marketing and Charlotte Mampane was appointed regional chief.

Dr Ihron Rensburg was appointed director of corporate communication and regulations, Herman Warren as director of corporate strategy and Clair OÆNeil is the new general manager of Action stations.

Tango Lamani was appointed manager of communication in MatlareÆs office and Louise Lewis as consultant for Radio Active.

Reform strategy

Matlare said the new team would help the broadcaster in its new transformation process.

He referred to the appointments of his new team as phase two of the broadcasting industryÆs reform strategy.

"Phase one had been to stabilise the SABC, phase two was to appoint a management team and phase three will be to ensure quality products."

Matlare also announced that former chief legal advisor Ronnie Braacs had been dismissed after an arbiter had found him guilty of negligence.