Suspended SABC TV boss gone

2015-05-14 15:36

Cape Town – The SABC's embattled and suspended TV boss Leo Manne has resigned and is gone from the SABC, following a protracted investigation and a behind-the-scenes fight to be reinstated and get his job back.

Manne, previously the longtime SABC1 channel head who was then promoted to general manager for TV channels over SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 at the SABC, was suspended by the SABC on 25 September 2014, "pending investigations".

The SABC suspended Leo Manne over allegations that he was listed as a director of Siyaya TV, one of the new pay-TV operators who received a licence in 2014 from the broadcasting regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to start a new subscription television service.

Siyaya Free to Air TV will be a new competitor for not just MultiChoice's DStv, On Digital Media's (ODM) StarSat and Platco Digital's OpenView HD (OVHD) but also terrestrial broadcasters like the SABC and

Siyaya Free to Air TV for instance snagged the exclusive TV broadcasting and radio rights to Bafana Bafana games last year in a 6-year deal reportedly worth more than R1 billion, taking it away from the SABC which used to have it and show these soccer games on SABC1.

Leo Manne tendered his resignation to the SABC and officially left the SABC at the end of April.

According to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) records, Leo Manne was a director of Siyaya TV Consortium. Manne says he declared his business interests to the SABC in 2012.

According to the CIPC, Siyaya TV Consortium shares an address and auditors with Siyaya Free To Air TV, although they are two separate business ventures.

After months of being suspended, Manne took his case to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), demanding to be reinstated as the general manager for TV channels at the SABC.

Besides asking to be reinstated, he argued that the SABC suspension process and investigation had been unfair.

In April however, the CCMA ruled in favour of the SABC. The CCMA says "in the matter between the SABC and Leonard Moeranne Manne an arbitration award was issued on 21 April 2015 with the arbitrator ruling in favour of the employer of the employer".

Leo Manne tendered his official resignation from his SABC position after the CCMA ruling, which also brings an end to the SABC's investigation which dragged along.

The SABC didn't announce the resignation and the permanent position of general manager of TV channels at the SABC remains vacant.

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