Get IOL's cool new iPad app...
Johannesburg - The crisis at the SABC over who holds the strategic position of acting chief operating officer (COO) deepened on Monday, with Hlaudi Motsoeneng again axed - barely a day after his reappointment.
Simultaneously, seasoned journalist Mike Siluma, who only a few days ago resigned from the same position, was reinstated.
As chaos continued to reign at the SABC, board member Lumko Mtimde stepped in and tried to clear the confusion.
He denied reports that Motsoeneng had ever been reinstated to his position.
However, his explanation only served to worsen things.
“Whereas Mr Siluma resigned, he will continue to act until end of April 2013,” Mtimde said in a statement.
“It cannot be then that the board resolution to relieve former acting COO (Motsoeneng) of his acting duties has been rescinded.
“The so-called ‘withdrawal’ of letters signed by the deputy chairman, Thami ka Plaatjie, does not have any effect on the board resolution.”
The Star understands that the reason the SABC finds itself in a chaotic state is that its board is divided between chairman Ben Ngubane and his deputy, Ka Plaatjie.
“It’s the SABC versus the SABC. It’s an internal strife, but it’s not that the majority of the board members are divided,” said a source close to the board.
The Star also understands that most board members, including Ka Plaatjie, are in favour of Motsoeneng’s retention as the COO.
Ngubane is, however, said to be in favour of Siluma. Ngubane and Motsoeneng refused to comment.
Former SABC employee Phumelele Nzimande entered the fray on Monday, accusing Ngubane of peddling “offensive, sexist and patriarchal” statements about her.
This follows statements by Ngubane on Sunday that the SACP had not forgiven him for the SABC board’s decision to relieve Nzimande of her position as chief people officer.
Ngubane said this while reacting to accusations by the SACP that he had “singularly failed to provide cohesive leadership” at the public broadcaster.
He accused the SACP of using personal grudges to attack him and for settling political scores.
“I would like to remind them (SACP) that the collapse of the SABC’s financials, which necessitated the SABC to ask for a government guarantee, happened during the leadership of Mrs Nzimande and her colleagues,” Ngubane said.
“I would also like to remind them that it was Mrs Nzimande who brought Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng to the SABC headquarters from the Free State, where he was originally based.”
On Monday, Nzimande hit back at Ngubane.
“I find it deeply offensive, sexist and patriarchal for Ngubane… to reduce me into a spouse in relation to SABC matters,” she said.
“I am a professional in my own right and do not need anyone, including the SACP, to fight my professional battles.”
Phumelele is the partner of SACP general secretary and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.
She also accused Ngubane of being a liar.
“I am disgusted by his lies that I brought Hlaudi Motsoeneng to SABC and that his failure to lead the board is my problem.
“I found and left Motsoeneng as a junior manager, and six months later, he had jumped four levels to become the second most senior executive at the behest of Ngubane, without any qualification whatsoever.
“He made a grand announcement on SABC platforms in his defence that Hlaudi’s lack of a matric certificate was neither here nor there, years after I left SABC.
“Ngubane has a lot to answer for the sorry state of governance at SABC.”