SABC chief operating officer denies plans to quit public broadcaster for rival

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A general view of the SABC headquarters on July 11, 2014 in Johannesburg. (GALLO IMAGES)
A general view of the SABC headquarters on July 11, 2014 in Johannesburg. (GALLO IMAGES)

The chief operating officer of the SABC, Ian Plaatjies, has denied claims that he is seeking to jump ship to join rival broadcaster eNCA.

 “The report of me moving over to ENCA is false.  I have neither engaged eMedia nor this reporter or anyone else about any prospects of me leaving the SABC," he said in a statement on Saturday afternoon. 

"This misleading reporting will be reported to the BCCSA and to the publication to retract this untruth and apologise for this false reporting," he said.

Plaatjeis said he had committed to a five-year stint at the public broadcaster and still had four years to go. 

"The transformational work the SABC board and management is doing has far reaching consequences beyond the sustainability of the SABC, that is, to grow the local industry.  This requires a continuity of the leadership that is spearheading the SABC turnaround, and I am committed to seeing this to fruition."

On Friday some SABC staff embarked on a strike after the cash-strapped state-owned enterprise's management did not immediately accept its demands to unconditionally stop the retrenchment process that could impact up to 400 staff. 

The SABC has for years been suffering financially from declining ad revenues and low rates of license payments, which according to critics have been worsened by mismanagement and corruption. 

The public broadcaster's board is set to give its official response to union demands early next week. The union, meanwhile, has said it will continue its strike over the weekend and next week. 

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