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Johannesburg - Clarity has been sought to establish whether a probe into a R185 million security tender allegedly awarded to a company that was ranked second in the bidding process has forced two SABC board members to resign.

The state broadcaster has been rocked by the sudden resignations of Khanyisile Kweyama and John Matisson from the SABC's board, placing strain on a board that was already short of four members who left during the course of the year.

Phumzile van Damme, a member of Parliament and the DA's shadow minister of communications, on Tuesday confirmed the resignations of Kweyama and Matisson.

“The DA can confirm that Matisson and Kweyama have indeed resigned from the public broadcaster,” said Van Damme, who is also a member of the portfolio committee on communications.

Van Damme said the DA wanted answers over whether Kweyama and Matisson were leaving because of allegations of corruption. “We trust that Matisson and Kweyama’s resignations do not have to do with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigation into the awarding of a security tender by the interim board in which they served,” she said.

“The tender was awarded to Mafoko Security by the interim board in 2017, despite it being ranked second in a bidding process. The interim board allegedly overruled its own supply chain processes, (and) ignored the National Treasury and its own lawyers’ advice in awarding the tender to Mafoko.”

Van Damme said they were keen to see the SIU’s final report on the awarding of the security tender, and if any wrongdoing by the members of the interim board was found then they must be held accountable.

She said the resignation of Matisson, who was nominated to the board by the DA, was unfortunate.

“He has decades of experience in the broadcasting sector and institutional knowledge which would have served the board well in its current dire financial straits.

“Kweyama was simply over-committed, being chairperson of the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (Prasa), Brand SA as well as serving on other boards.”

In a statement, SABC spokesperson Neo Momodu would not confirm or deny that the board members had resigned. Momodu, however, dismissed speculation that group chief executive Madoda Mxakwe had resigned.

“The SABC can confirm that Mxakwe has not resigned and therefore speculation on his resignation is false,” Momodu said.

It is believed that Krish Naidoo, another board member, could also be on the way out.

Rachel Kalidass quit in November 2017, reportedly after clashing with her colleagues over the appointment of an executive.

Febe Potgieter-Gqubule left the board for an ANC post, and another board member, Victor Rambau, resigned earlier this year.

Nomvuyiso Batyi, who was nominated by the portfolio committee on communications, never took up the position.

@BonganiNkosi87

The Star