SABC still beset by scandal

Chris Forrester

South Africa’s public broadcaster SABC is suffering from continuing allegations of political nepotism.

The latest outburst concerns the alleged imposition o a new CEO, nominated by the SABC’s recently-dismissed board. New man Solly Mokoetle was the ‘old’ COO and replaced the disgraced Gab Mampone who despite being suspended for the best part of two years still managed to walk away with ZA Rand 12m (about $1.6m).

Many senior staffers fell under criticism following a tough forensic audit of SABC’s books which included findings that programming bosses failed to observe basic rules as regards tendering for new programmes, and where the ‘winning’ bidder often shared directorships with members of either SABC staff or board members.

Now, the newly-appointed board is complaining that it wants the freedom to appoint its own CEO and finally end what has been seen as the heavy hand of government in its affairs. An editorial in Sunday’s Cape Times talked of the SABC having been run in a similar fashion to a ‘banana republic’, and riven with departmental in-fighting. Solly Mokoetle’s appointment could reverse the progress recently made and take the SABC “back to square one,” said the newspaper.

© Rapid TV News 2010