SABC slams leaking of 'highly prejudicial' memo - TechCentral

SABC slams leaking of ‘highly prejudicial’ memo

The SABC board on Saturday slammed the leaking of an internal memorandum authored by two non-executive directors. The document makes a series of serious allegations against CEO Madoda Mxakwe and chief financial officer Yolande van Biljon.

In a statement, the public broadcaster said the memorandum, authored by deputy chair Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi and Marcia Socikwa alleges “improper conduct” by the two top executives. The broadcaster said the statement has been leaked to the media and has not yet been discussed by the board.

“The SABC board believes that the leaking of the memorandum is highly prejudicial to the SABC group CEO and CFO as it contains allegations that have not been tested,” it said. “It is the view of the board that the leaking of the memorandum before its discussion is intended to bring the SABC, the board, and the two executive directors into disrepute. Until the allegations contained in the memorandum are tested and found to be factually correct, they should be treated as allegations.”

The company did not elaborate on what is contained in the memo, and TechCentral has not had sight of it.

In the statement, Mxakwe said: “The allegations contained in the memorandum are wholly unfounded, baseless and defamatory to me and the CFO in particular, and we are consulting our legal advisors in this regard.

“The issues dealt with in the memorandum are operational matters within the domain of the executives and are being attended to in various legitimate and legal forums created to deal with such cases. All the names mentioned are of employees that are either going through disciplinary processes or have been dismissed, having followed due processes.”

Cases pending

The broadcaster said former SABC employees are exercising their rights by challenging the outcomes of disciplinary processes at the CCMA, labour court and the labour appeal court. “These cases are pending, and we urge everyone to respect the processes by refraining from pre-empting the outcomes, interfering or creating parallel processes.

“In pursuing matters of fraud, mismanagement, sexual harassment, irregular salary increases or irregular appointments, the SABC is doing so to ensure that it instils proper governance and a culture of accountability. The SABC has had a sustained systematic collapse of governance and financial systems and the current leadership team is committed to a process of rehabilitating and renewing the SABC. Disciplinary hearings are aimed at ensuring appropriate consequence management, where applicable, and following due processes at all times.”

In the statement, the SABC said it is “clear that there is an intense ‘fight-back’ campaign waged against both the board and the executive management team responsible for consequence management at the corporation”.

“This campaign entails the unlawful accessing of official SABC documents for leaking to certain media houses in a deliberate attempt to undermine the independence and effective functioning of the SABC and to create the impression of a divided leadership of the corporation. We shall not be deterred.”

It said the board “reaffirms its support for the excellent work performed by the current executive management team under the leadership of Mr Mxakwe”.

“As the board, we are fully behind the executives who — acting within the confines of law — will ensure that the corporation will rid itself of all its legacy issues. The board made a commitment in parliament that it would not be defocused by the unfortunate events emanating from its commitment to consequence management. South Africans have entrusted the SABC board with the responsibility of rehabilitating and renewing this national asset and the board will continue to act in the public interest.”  — © 2019 NewsCentral Media

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