SABC board displays vicious in-fighting

2012-09-19 11:48
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – In a highly embarrassing public spectacle SABC board members on Tuesday lashed out at each other, airing shocking dirty laundry in parliament as both Cawe Mahlati and Dr Ben Ngubane went for the jugular.

In a sparring match as fascinating as it is scandalous, the persona non grata SABC board member Mahlati and SABC chairperson Ngubane launched scathing verbal attacks on each other.

The acrimonious display fully laid bare the true extent of the shockingly bitter atmosphere swirling at the SABC's highest level and the fracturous personality clashes between SABC executives.

There's no love lost between Mahlati and the rest of the SABC board who've unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in her and now want her gone. All of the internal squabbles and ugly in-fighting bubbled over on Tuesday in a cringeworthy, yet fascinating, fight.

It all started on Tuesday which was again a painful day for the SABC as the beleaguered public broadcaster's board was roasted in parliament for their shoddy report.

Members of parliament were not happy about the numerous unaddressed crises afflicting the broadcaster and the lack of specific answers and detail from the SABC.

The morning's session was a taste of even worse SABC behaviour to come.

Rampant maladministration, corruption

During the afternoon session, Mahlati launched a scathing attack on Ngubane saying that "Ngubane and his leadership of the SABC board has led to the dissolution of one SABC board already."

Mahlati told parliament's portfolio committee on communications that she is being singled out because she is the lone voice of reason and the voice which airs "all inconvenient truths which the SABC chairperson and some members of the SABC board seek to hide".

She also lashed out against "the rampant maladministration and corruption in the SABC board" under the "autocratic and patriarchal" leadership style of Ngubane.

And she didn't stop there. "Ngubane is of the view that he is the board and the other board members have allowed him to be as such," she said.

Disruptive behaviour

Meanwhile, members of parliament's communications committee heard that the allegations against Mahlati and the reason for the motion of no confidence in her include unethical behaviour and the failure to treat fellow SABC board members with respect and dignity.

Ngubane said the grievances lodged against Mahlati by the Special Monitoring Task Team are about her alleged disruptive behaviour. "Mahlati doubted and questioned every decision taken by the SABC board," Ngubane said.

Constant fighting

"The work of the SABC is being totally frustrated with this constant fighting, disagreements, wasting of a lot of time at SABC board meetings," said Ngubane.

"We have a problem. And that problem is advocate Cawe Mahlati," said SABC board member Suzanne Vos.

Parliament's portfolio committee on communications will have to deliberate and decide on how to proceed with the latest squabbling and in-fighting within the SABC board.


  • SirFGrumpy - 2012-09-19 12:10

    Sounds to me advocate Cawe Mahlati is the only one telling the truth but the rest of the board are fearful of being caught with their hands in the cookie jar (again or still?). This smells of the same 5hit, like every ANC run city council, state owned enterprise, police service, provincial council, cricket board, someone save us from these crocks!

      pieter0827006294 - 2012-09-19 12:20

      and if Malema has his way the Mining too!

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-09-19 12:45

      This isn't the first time that the SABC Board Members have fought. A previous Board also fought, or is the 3rd one round ? So many I can't remember. Seems like a case of too many Chiefs and not enough Indians !

      sanda.mnyazi - 2012-09-19 12:51

      This reminds me of that CSA chairperson.....Mr. Nyoka

      ianmichaelcalder - 2012-09-19 13:20

      But don't forget to pay your TV license, because if you don't, YOU are the criminal. Unbelievable, you get fined for not supporting the SABC board's lifestyle and ineffectiveness.

  • pieter0827006294 - 2012-09-19 12:19

    Isn't it ironic that this article is in the "Entertainment" section?

      Sheilan.Clarke - 2012-09-19 12:55

      Lol! I was thinking exactly the same thing. It's like a soap opera.

  • zaaristotle - 2012-09-19 12:24

    Simple solution - fire all members. Then appoint all new members, of which 51% should be nominated by civil society.

  • ryan.viljoen.39 - 2012-09-19 12:29

    Let's nationalise so all corporates are run this way.....

  • ally.oh.7 - 2012-09-19 12:30

    It would be far more entertaining if SABC broadcast this cr@p on all the channels rather than the reruns/repeats it shows.

  • stephen.king.900 - 2012-09-19 12:31

    Just like the government. The issue is not how to run the country or a company properly but how they can line their back pockets

  • hein.huyser - 2012-09-19 12:37

    The pot calling the kettle..... Both are useless, fire them both, and whilst busy with the cleanup, get to the minister responsible for this as well. Nobody at the head of SABC are there because they belong there, or have a passion for the tv/radio. They are all just a bunch of leeching cadre employments appointed to ensure that the cANCer have media coverage

  • clive.kihn - 2012-09-19 12:49

    Just like the ANC! What a shambles, and our tax money is used to keep this entity alive. Don't expect the communications minister to do anything though: she's mired in her own corruption controversy. But all this could be avoided if the ANC cadre deployment policy was scrapped and people were apponted on merit and ability alone.

  • mark.haupt.31 - 2012-09-19 12:54

    They should have aired it, would be a lot better than the rubbish they do show.

  • braamc - 2012-09-19 13:04

    BEE works

  • Ze Don - 2012-09-19 13:13

    Disband the board and the ENTIRE sabc while you're at it!

  • errol.wagner - 2012-09-19 13:19

    Why don't they put this on TV - it sounds like a better soap opera than the ones they currently have no view? t

  • duane.hoffeldt - 2012-09-19 13:20

    And remember kids, pay your TV licence - its the right thing to do.

  • sas.kloppers - 2012-09-19 13:29

    This is what we're forced to (by law mind you!) to pay licence fees??????

  • althea.meintjies - 2012-09-19 13:58

    "Mahlati doubted and questioned every decision taken by the SABC board," Ngubane said. So she shouldn't question any form of corruption

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-09-19 14:07

    This has got to be the worst broadcasting company ever! Do they actually watch what they air? Their programmes are really bad and old.

  • naas.viljoen.16 - 2012-09-19 14:13

    Advancement of the incompetent.

  • wackidmaledu - 2012-09-19 14:50

    haha news24 is tryn to be funny now...why is this article on this page??

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