Silence at the eye of SABC storm

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Silence – ironically – reigned on Tuesday morning, as speculation surrounding the South African Broadcasting Corporation reached fever pitch, but nobody involved had anything to say about the state of play at the public service broadcaster.

Claims had emerged that three members of the SABC board had resigned, namely John Mattison, Khanyisile Kyeyama and group CEO Madoda Mxekwa.

The SABC has denied reports of Mxekwa's resignation, but opted not to comment on reports of the other two.

At the heart of the SABC's troubles lies an impasse with other government stakeholders over its determination to proceed with Section 189 retrenchments at the SABC, regardless of whether government affords the broadcaster a government guarantee bailout.

The SABC has been in talks with the Department of Communications and National Treasury on the matter.

SABC spokesperson told Fin24 that the broadcaster could not confirm whether other board members had resigned, but said the CEO had not.

Contacted by Fin24, spokesperson for the Presidency Khusela Diko laid responsibility for claims of board resignations at the feet of the SABC. She said Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams was best placed to comment on a letter apparently written to the SABC in her name.

Board member and chair Mathatha Tsedu similarly said he could not comment on behalf of other board members as he was not an SABC spokesperson.

Department of Communications spokesperson Chrispin Phiri, meanwhile, told Fin24 that the ministry would not be discussing matters affecting the SABC, its board or it plans for financial recovery before discussions with other stakeholders were concluded.

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