5 things to know about the new SABC COO

2018-01-31 16:25
PHOTO: Supplied

PHOTO: Supplied

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The SABC recently announced that Chris Maroleng is their new chief operations officer (COO). The former COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, was fired last year for bringing the public broadcaster into disrepute and causing irreparable damage to the state enterprise.

Here are five things you need to know about the new SABC boss.

1.       His nickname is “Don’t touch me on my studio”

According to EWN, Chris earned this nickname from the media after an incident during an e.tv interview in 2010.

At the time, Chris was the anchor of the show and had been interviewing André Visagie, former secretary general of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), and political analyst Lebohang Pheko. The two were discussing race relations in South Africa.

Lebohang confronted André about the alleged abuse of farm workers in South Africa and as the anchor, Chris had to intervene when André lost his temper, ripped off his microphone and stormed off the set, before returning and saying: "You won't dare interrupt me . . . I am not finished with you."

Chris repeatedly said to André, "(Don't) touch me on my studio, (don't) touch me on my studio" and André’s response was, "I'll touch you on your studio.” The confrontation led to social media jokes and video remixes.


2.       He’s a gadget geek of note

Chris describes himself as “Inspired by Africa. Family-first. God-fearing. Gadget-geek,” on his Twitter profile. Judging from his articles and posts of the latest technological developments, we can see he’s truly passionate about gadgets.


3.       He’s qualified

Unlike Hlaudi, Maroleng holds two degrees.  His LinkedIn profile states that the new SABC COO has a BA (Hons) and MA degree from the University of Cape Town. Chris has also received several postgraduate scholarships and awards and obtained a communications and media qualification at Duke University in North Carolina.

4.       He’s an experienced journalist

Chris has worked at eNCA as a news anchor and an editor for eNCA Africa for six years.


5.       He’s a former MTN group executive

Chris was at telecommunications company MTN, where he held the position of executive for corporate affairs before being appointed as the SABC COO.






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