SABC hit by another resignation

Cape Town - The embattled national broadcaster – the SABC - has been dealt another blow with the resignation of a high-profile board member, Professor Bongani Khumalo.

This follows close on the heels of the resignation of its chairperson Ellen Tshabalala who left following the scandal involving her lying under oath about her academic qualifications.

According to the Sunday Independent, Khumalo tendered his resignation following the resignation of Tshabalala.  Khumalo is also the chief executive of the national lottery operator Gidani.

The newspaper reports that although the reasons for his resignation remain vague, it is believed that the SABC’s board is riddled by “factionalism” and is divided over many issues.

When asked for comment, SAC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago referred questions to the presidency and the department of communications. Communications spokesperson Ayanda Hollow said however that they were unaware of the resignation.

It is believed however, that other board members are also set to resign. The newspaper states that this follows a recent letter to members from Communications Minister Faith Muthambi asking them to provide reasons why they should not be suspended.

This latest development comes after Tshabalala resigned as chairperson of the SABC board and also quit the board last month, as reported by News24.

"The President thanks Ms Tshabalala for her contribution to the public broadcaster and wishes her all the best in her future endeavours," the presidency said at the time in a statement.

University of South Africa (Unisa) executive director for legal services Jan van Wyk told a Parliamentary inquiry last week that though Tshabalala had registered for her BComm degree in both 1988 and 1996, she failed to obtain the qualification, Sapa reports.

According to Unisa records, she had also registered for a diploma in labour relations in 1995.
During the academic year, she passed two, failed two, and did not write two of the modules.
In January 1996, she was allowed to rewrite the two she could not write the previous year. She obtained a score of 13%for her human resources module, and a score of 35% for labour relations.

Unisa then wrote to Tshabalala informing her she would not qualify to redo the course.

Accusations

The committee found Tshabalala guilty of two counts of misconduct.

One for claiming she had obtained the two qualifications on her CV when she applied for the job as SABC chairperson. The other charge relates to an affidavit she submitted to Parliament stating that her qualifications had been stolen during a burglary at her home.

Following the inquiry's decision, Tshabalala accused the committee of deciding her fate before its inquiry was completed.

She said the committee had requested Zuma suspend her prior to the decision being made.
"That says it all. Their decision was taken long ago before the inquiry," she told reporters in Johannesburg.

She argued, through her lawyer Michael Tillney, that the committee's decision to recommend that she be removed from office was "procedurally unfair".

Tshabalala rubbished Van Wyk's testimony as "hearsay", saying that Unisa had been having problems with its records and computer system, and they could not be trusted.

She said she had tried numerous times to get a copy of her qualification from Unisa, but had failed because of its computer problem.

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