The SABC has suspended its acting chief technology officer, Gelfand Kausiyo, due to what it calls “allegations of misconduct”. Kausiyo has been acting in the position since November, having been appointed to the post following the resignation of Richard Waghorn as head of the crucial portfolio late last year.
TechCentral has established that Sipho Masinga has been named as acting chief technology officer while the SABC investigates allegations levelled against Kausiyo. Masinga previously worked in the SABC’s technology unit in Bloemfontein.
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago says Kausiyo was suspended last Friday and that the allegations against him — he won’t provide details about their nature –are being investigated. “I cannot comment on them pending the outcome of the investigation.”
Though Kausiyo is being investigated, it “doesn’t mean he’s necessarily guilty of anything” and that the suspension is “just a precautionary measure”, Kganyago adds. There will be no official statement from the SABC on Kausiyo’s suspension “because this is an internal matter”.
Kausiyo could not immediately be reached for comment.
He says that as there hasn’t been a permanent chief technology officer since Waghorn left the corporation, the post continues to be advertised. The broadcaster’s most pressing concern has been to fill the vacant CEO post, which it did on Friday when communications minister announced that Lulama Mokhobo has been appointed to the top job.
With the CEO post filled the board will now be able to focus its attention on making permanent appointments for other vacant posts, Kganyago says.
The troubles at the top of the SABC’s technology unit come at a worrying time for the public broadcaster, which must prepare itself for the looming switch from analogue to digital terrestrial television.
During his tenure at the SABC, Waghorn played a crucial role in this process, having previously overseen digital migration at the BBC in the UK. He’s now taking on the role of chief technology officer at Ireland’s public broadcaster, RTE. — Craig Wilson, TechCentral
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