SA Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. PHOTO: ANA

Johannesburg - Communication Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane on Monday denied knowledge of reports that MTN's group executive for corporate affairs Chris Maroleng will soon be named the new chief operating officer (COO) of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

"The minister wishes to advise the media that all appointments of the chief operating officer, chief executive officer and chief financial officer of State-owned entities are done through Cabinet processes and therefore the announcements of the outcome are made by Cabinet," Kubayi-Ngubane said in a statement.

"It is the minister's responsibility to present any appointment of executives of the SoEs under the Department of Communications through Cabinet processes. To this end, the minister has no knowledge of any official appointment of a COO of SABC."

Sunday World newspaper reported that Maroleng would next month fill the key position at the SABC, replacing the controversial Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who was fired by the public broadcaster last year following a long suspension. 

Former group executive for sports at SABC, Bessie Tugwana, has  been acting in the role the past few months.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago was not immediately available for comment. He told the paper that "the process of finalizing the appointment is underway and we will announce to the public as soon as it is completed".

Though Maroleng was not immediately available for comment, he has been fielding a lot of congratulatory messages on Twitter from followers who wishes him well on his appointment, including  MTN group chief executive Rob Shuter, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and former head of eNCA Patrick Conroy.

Maroleng has an extensive experience in the broadcasting sector, having also anchored a current affairs show on eNCA where he became popularly known for his "don't touch me on my studio" rebuke of former AWB general secretary André Visagie during a live 2010 studio debate.

 African News Agency/ANA