'I would rather use my energy in saving the SABC than fighting government' – board member Krish Naidoo on his resignation

2018-12-05 12:07
SABC (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

SABC (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Three SABC board members have resigned amid allegations of political pressure being put on the board.

News24 has seen the resignation letters of Krish Naidoo, deputy chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama and DA-nominee John Mattison.

Naidoo confirmed to News24 that he resigned on Tuesday.

"I wasn't planning on resigning until yesterday lunchtime."

He said he had come to the realisation that there was no point in staying on.

"As I said in my letter, the inability of some of the board members to understand the difference between corporate independence, accountability and political interference has led to a breakdown in the relationship with the minister. That was my turning point.

"I would rather use my energy in saving the SABC than fighting government," he said.

Noted resignations

News24 reported earlier that the SABC, in a short statement, said it had "noted" reports that three members of its board had resigned and referred all queries to the Presidency.

The broadcaster denied that its group chief executive Madoda Mxakwe had also resigned.

The resignations follow a strained meeting between the board, newly-appointed Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and her deputy, Pinky Kekana, last Thursday.

READ: SABC board members throw in the towel in fresh battle with government

The battle between the board and government over looming retrenchments at the public broadcaster came to a head during the meeting and another source close to the communications ministry told News24 the resignations were in protest against some of the board members' treatment of the minister at the sitting.

A letter in which Ndabeni-Abrahams states her intention to stop engaging with the board over a dispute regarding planned retrenchments was leaked to the media over the weekend.

Ndabeni-Abrahams said she had been forced to cut ties with the board after the meeting and would "report this impasse to the president, Parliament and all relevant stakeholders", City Press reported the letter as saying over the weekend.

"The board made it clear at the meeting that, irrespective of the success of [a] government guarantee or bailout, they will still proceed with retrenchments. As the shareholder representative, we were left with no option but to desist from all engagements with the SABC board," she wrote.

D-day

The SABC embarked on a process to cut jobs by 980 staff and more than 1 200 freelancers in an effort to stem the financial crisis it finds itself in.

The broadcaster needs at least R3bn to stave off a March 2019 D-day, when it will find itself unable to pay salaries or bills.

Sources close to the board again confirmed City Press reports that the meeting between the minister and the board was highly charged, with Ndabeni-Abrahams seemingly arriving with the express intention of putting a stop to retrenchments.

ALSO READ: SABC board buckling under ANC pressure - sources

The SABC's current salary bill is pushing a projected R2.7bn for the 2018/2019 financial year, which equates to roughly 40% of its revenue.

"We realised that the board was no longer acting in the interests of the company, the shareholder, and Parliament as the representative of [the] South African public to which the SABC board is accountable," said Ndabeni-Abrahams.

Ndabeni-Abrahams added that the board had flatly refused to allow her time to familiarise herself with the turnaround strategy and retrenchment plans.

This is at odds with another paragraph in the letter which states the board will "review the pace and quantum of the impact of the [retrenchments] should funding be found". 

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    sabc  |  stella ndabeni-abrahams  |  naidoo  |  krish  |  media  |  politics
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

IT Manager (contract)

Cape Town CBD
Communicate Cape Town IT
R330 000.00 - R458 000.00 Per Year

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.