File photo: ANA/Karen Sandison

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Monday announced the resignation of Dr Craig van Rooyen as acting chief operations officer (COO) and group executive for technology, due to personal and family reasons. 

Van Rooyen was appointed to act in the COO position at the end of April following the dismissal of Chris Maroleng after he was found guilty of three of four charges at a disciplinary hearing. 

Maroleng had been appointed in January 2018 and was tasked with cleaning up the SABC when he took over from Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who in turn was fired in June 2017 for bringing the SABC into disrepute.

Van Rooyen, who joined the SABC on 1 November 2018 as group executive for media, technology and infrastructure, was responsible for the technology operations management of the SABC, including developing and executing key strategies to support the SABC’s corporate plan. 

The public broadcaster said that Van Rooyen will be leaving on 9 September. Van Rooyen said this had been a tough decision: 

"My decision to leave the SABC is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make, due to my good working relationships at the corporation," he said in a statement. 

"The group chief executive officer, Mr. Madoda Mxakwe, and the chief financial officer, Ms. Yolande van Biljon, have made my decision to leave a particularly hard one. 

"As executive directors, they have demonstrated a serious commitment to people, improving SABC processes, driving customer relations and making the SABC financially sustainable. 

"Moreover, having been involved in crafting the SABC’s turnaround plan, I am confident that the SABC will overcome its challenges in the short term and become successful in the long term."

SABC board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini commended van Rooyen for his contribution, saying that the board was very sad to see him go but wished him well for his future endeavours.

"Dr. Van Rooyen has played a meaningful role in developing the digital strategy of the SABC, including preparing the SABC for digital migration and becoming a multiplatform, multichannel player," Makhathini said.

"In the last three months, Dr. Van Rooyen was also acting as the Corporation’s COO. He has modeled the way for future COOs by demonstrating ethical leadership, technical expertise and business acumen." 

The SABC said that its board will be interviewing potential candidates for the COO role this week, and will soon be advertising for a new group executive for technology in order to ensure stability in leadership.

African News Agency (ANA)