File photo: INLSA

Johannesburg - The appointment of the chief operating officer at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is soon to be finalised as per the high court order on appointment of executives at the public broadcaster, the SABC board said on Tuesday. 

"The board wishes to state for the record that it has acted and will continue to act lawfully, and in line with the letter and spirit of the Interim court order, on this matter. This includes the requirement of consultations with the shareholder representative [communications minister]", the board said in a statement on Tuesday. 

"The interim court order gives clarity on the board’s responsibilities in making SABC executive appointments. The recruitment of executives [chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO) and chief financial officer (CFO)] is one of the SABC board’s urgent priorities, and the processes are in progress and on track. The appointment of the successful candidate for COO is still being finalised, and the positions of CEO and CFO advertised." 

Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane had on Monday refuted weekend media reports that MTN group executive for corporate affairs Chris Maroleng would take over as COO as the SABC, replacing controversial former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. 

She said Cabinet was responsible for appointment processes of executives at the public broadcaster and that there was no COO appointment at the SABC.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) hit back at Kubayi-Ngubane, accusing her of interfering with the work and the independence of the SABC board. 

The interim court order delivered in October last year curtailed the communication minister's powers in appointing top executives at the SABC, effectively safeguarding the independence of the board. Kubayi-Ngubane has since indicated her intention to appeal the ruling. 

African News Agency/ANA