SABC COO battle may soon be resolved – minister

2013-11-25 16:31

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The chief operating officer position at the SABC may be advertised soon, Communications Minister Yunnis Carrim has said.

He told the Cape Town Press Club today the position "stalemate" was likely to end should negotiations be successful with a candidate who believed he should have been appointed.

Carrim's spokesman Siya Qoza confirmed this candidate was Mvuzo Mbebe, who was recommended for the job in 2007 but was never appointed.

He got a court interdict in 2008 preventing the appointment of a new chief operating officer.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng was in the position on an acting basis.

"We are looking at one legal aspect to finalise and negotiate a deal [with Mbebe]," Carrim said.

"If all goes well, within the next few days the matter will be resolved, which means the post will then be advertised."

Qoza said that when the job was advertised, Motsoeneng and "everyone else" would be free to apply.

He said the SABC board would then consider the applications and make a recommendation for appointment.

Meanwhile, Carrim said he has seen the public protector’s provisional report into alleged maladministration at the SABC.

“Yes, I did receive the report, obviously. It was given as a courtesy to the department of communications,” he said.

“As I understand it, there’s nothing for a minister to do at this stage because each of the parties referred to has to be given seven days [to respond].”

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was expected to get feedback by Friday.

Carrim said he would not comment until the final report was released.

City Press reported yesterday the provisional report highlighted abuse of power and maladministration by senior executives and former SABC board members.

The report made recommendations in terms of the conduct of the SABC’s acting chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, group chief executive officer Lulama Mokhobo, former board chair Ben Ngubane, and former communications minister Dina Pule.

Carrim said should there be allegations against officials in his department in the final report, he would consult with his legal team for direction.

He said the SABC board had to ultimately decide what to do with the final recommendations.

Once the board had come to a decision, it would report to the communications department and a deadline would be set for resolution.

Carrim said it was absolutely clear his department needed to have more strategic oversight of the SABC in the future.

Carrim replaced Pule as communications minister in July after she was sacked in a Cabinet reshuffle.

In August, Parliament’s ethics committee found Pule had “wilfully misled” Parliament by denying her romantic relationship with a man who allegedly made millions from sponsorship deals with her former department.

Carrim remained neutral when asked for comment about Pule’s conduct and repairing the reputation of his portfolio.

“In respect of my predecessor, I am not a judge but part of the same collective executive.”

He said he was certainly not a “knight in shining armour”.

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