SABC's axed COO back after 3 days

2013-03-04 13:58
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town - The SABC's Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been reinstated as acting chief operating officer (COO) - the South African public broadcaster's second highest executive position - just three days after he was removed from the post.

In a shocking turn of events Motsoeneng, who was removed by the SABC board on Tuesday 25 February with "immediate effect" as acting COO, is holding the position again.

The current twist is turning into the biggest and most embarrassing public spectacle yet at the beleaguered public broadcaster, which continues to trudge from scandal to scandal.

SABC not responding to media enquiries

Motsoeneng, who does not have a matric certificate, was removed and replaced by Mike Siluma as the new acting COO at the SABC. Siluma promptly quit on Friday.

The SABC board which was scheduled to appear before parliament's portfolio committee on communications cancelled the meeting, although SABC board members were in Cape Town.

The SABC has not responded to media enquiries as to why Siluma suddenly resigned, why Motsoeneng is suddenly back as acting COO, or why the SABC board appointed someone in an acting COO capacity who then resigned three days later.

The latest shocker - possibly the biggest executive gaffe yet in the history of the SABC - is already seeing South Africa's TV industry, used to insane shenanigans at the struggling public broadcaster, gasping at the latest surprise development at the self-evident executive circus which the broadcaster's upper echelon of power has become.

Dismay at continued SABC instability

The SOS Coalition, a public pressure group representing a vast number of the biggest industry stakeholders in South Africa's public broadcasting sphere including trade unions, federations, media and academic institutes and all major film and TV production organisations, says it is "concerned, and frankly dismayed about the continued instabilities at board level and executive level of the SABC".

"We've seen seven non-executive directors come and go in the space of three years, have not had a solid and permanent top three in an acting capacity in as long, and recently, a visibly divided SABC board," the SOS Coalition recently said in a statement.

"This is an untenable situation for any organisation, least of all  a public utility that has been mired in scandal after scandal like the SABC.

"We want an SABC that works and an SABC that is fundamentally premised on stable, visionary, skilled and experienced leadership. When will we begin to see this from the SABC?" asks the SOS Coalition.

New SABC restructuring looming

Meanwhile new restructuring is looming for the struggling South African public broadcaster, the minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan said last week in his budget speech delivered in parliament.

Gordhan said restructuring is coming in the year to all state supported public enterprises who are not performing and bleeding cash, such as the SABC.

He said that "some form of restructuring" is coming for all loss-making entities mired in trouble with dysfunctional boards who are not adequately co-ordinating with the government and who are rocked by ongoing management instability.

The SABC started 2013 with its three TV channels all gaining new acting channel heads, and the person above all three looking after SABC television is also new in that position.

Leo Manne, formerly the channel head of SABC1, is now the general manager for television channels at the SABC.

Sam Mpherwane, previously the acting programming manager at SABC1 is now the new acting head of the channel.

At SABC2, Pulane Tshabalana is acting channel head, while Lefa Afrika, previously the programming manager, is now the new acting SABC3 channel head after the unexpected departure last month of Ed Worster who went on early retirement.


  • Kalman Dittrich - 2013-03-04 14:08

    Let me guess, The ANC can not be sure of this low level quality without him? What would he even have any business running the show, Bet you he has satellite DSTV the SOAB

  • Tony Bakkie - 2013-03-04 14:13

    Pfffffffftttt. Comdrades one and all.

  • PeterJJhb - 2013-03-04 14:15

    And we are expected to pay a TV licence!!!! We should all stop paying this fee until sabc stabilises

  • George Carson - 2013-03-04 14:43

    Time for the South African public to do some "restructuring" of their own. I will no longer pay a licence fee to the SABC. To me they offer nothing worth watching anyway. Let's all stop paying and restructure their budget into oblivion.

  • Coenraad Van Der Westhuizen - 2013-03-04 14:45

    The South African Broadcasting Circus strikes again...

  • Musa KamaShobane - 2013-03-04 15:08

    Shenanigans, shenanigans indeed. Another SAA. Those who are aspiring to work for the ANC(exNationalist) propanga machine with your Master Degree, GOOD LUCK! Dont forget, your line manager is a grade 11( no matric) shame.

  • Lionel Hartman - 2013-03-04 15:08

    No matric, absolutely qualified

  • Mrprice Tlama - 2013-03-04 16:06

    ladies and gentlemen my name is Mr price of tlama entertainment please listen to my music ft nelson Mandela conversation with myself and other songs from album episode 7 project on youtube

      Itse Nnete - 2013-03-05 07:23

      A man's gotta hustle.

  • Pete7930 - 2013-03-04 17:29

    A COO without matric? Siluma knew he couldnt compete with that so he quit! SABC - Some African Broadcasting Crap!

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2013-03-04 18:25

    An uneducated COO without an education helps me understand why the SABC delivers programmes for dumb people.

  • Itse Nnete - 2013-03-05 07:22

    It goes to show,it is not about what you know.It is about who you know.Our President does not have a matric certificate but hey,he is a comrade and now this COO,probably a comrade too.Networking people,not education...That is my take home message today,I must stop slaving away studying and join the is a qualification in disguise.

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