SABC top jobs remain a mystery

Johannesburg - There has been little action in appointing a new chief executive officer or chief financial officer at the SABC, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi said on Wednesday.

Replying to parliamentary questions she said the advertisements for the CEO and CFO positions closed on 12 May, but "the number of candidates to be shortlisted and interviewed is unknown".

"At this stage, an external recruitment specialist is being selected through the appropriate procurement processes," Muthambi said to questions by the DA.

This followed the resignation of the public broadcaster's CEO Lulama Mokhobo and the dismissal of its CFO Gugu Duda.

Duda was suspended in September 2012 for procurement and financial irregularities. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration found Duda guilty of misconduct and she was dismissed.

In February, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found former communications minister Dina Pule interfered "unduly" in Duda's appointment as SABC CFO.

Improper conduct

Madonsela recommended that the SABC board initiate disciplinary measures against Mokhobo, who has since resigned.

This was due to improper conduct in approving chief operations officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng's irregular salary increases.

At the time, then-communications minister Yunus Carrim said: "Obviously, we are concerned about stability at the SABC and urge that the vacant senior posts be filled as soon as possible".

Muthambi on Wednesday responded to questions over the post of SABC COO, after Madonsela found the present incumbent's appointment and salary progression were irregular. She said no agreement had yet been reached about when the COO post would be advertised.

"The relevant parties together with the ministry of communications still need to discuss the issue in order to find or establish a final settlement on the matter," Muthambi said.

DA spokesperson on communications Gavin Davis criticised Muthambi for having made no progress in replacing Motsoeneng.

"In other words, no attempt has been made [to] fill the position despite the public protector’s recommendation on 17 February that the communications minister 'take urgent steps' to replace Mr Motsoeneng within 90 days," he said.

Davis said there was every reason to remove Motsoeneng from his job, and no reason to keep him on at the SABC.

"He should be suspended and replaced with a crisis management team to lead the SABC until the appointment of the general CEO, which the minister has promised will happen in the next three months."

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