SABC execs threaten to quit amid ructions with board, Sunday Times reports

The Sunday Times reported that three South African Broadcasting Corporation executives sent a letter to the chair of the public service broadcaster’s board, Bongumusa Makhathini, to complain about meddling by two board members in the broadcaster’s day to day running.

The Sunday Times reported that SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe, chief operating officer Craig van Rooyen and chief financial officer Yolande van Billjon wrote to the board to lament "interference" by some board members.

Among other things, the letter complained of editorial interference and arriving late as well as causing disruptions at meetings held to discuss important matters.

The Sunday Times reported that sources close to implicated board members claim that the executives are targeting board member for "asking difficult questions" and holding the executives accountable.

The report comes days after the SABC announced Sylvia Tladi as its new interim chief operations officer. SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu committed to study questions from Fin24 about the report.

In a statement later on Sunday, the board dismissed any talk of disagreements among its members, saying they "have done a sterling job thus far in very difficult circumstances."

"The SABC board denies that there is disagreement among board directors about meeting the preconditions set by government for providing the R3.2bn bailout."

The statement further stated that a board meeting held on Friday unanimously agreed to write to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies,  "respectfully disagreeing with the view that the SABC had not met the Treasury preconditions for funding."

With a debt of over R1bn, the public broadcaster has been hit by severe financial challenges in the past few years, which has threatened payment of staff salaries.

The much-awaited government bailout will help the broadcaster pay debt and alleviate pressure on operating costs.


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