9 June 2019

South Africa: SABC Not Deterred By Attempted Assassination of Executive Heading Clean-Up Operation

Photo: Zaian/Wikipedia
SABC offices (file photo).

An attempted assassination of a SABC executive leading a clean-up operation is not going to deter the process.

This was according to the SABC board chairperson, Bongumusa Makhathini, who said in an interview with the public broadcaster that chief audit executive, Thamsanqa (Thami) Zikode, was even more committed to scrutinising reports on cases of wrongdoing.

Zikode escaped harm after he was followed from the public broadcaster in Auckland Park to his home in Johannesburg South on Friday night.

His car was sprayed with bullets at the gate.

Gauteng police spokesperson, Captain Mavela Masondo, said one of the suspects sustained bullet wounds.

It appeared he was injured and left behind by his accomplices when Zikode shot back at them.Police arrested the 32-year-old man in connection with the attack and recovered a firearm with ammunition.

They also discovered the getaway car around Southgate Mall.

Masondo said they were still questioning the suspect in custody and are hot on heels of the three others who managed to flee and were still at large on Sunday.

The DA has called on the police to push hard to arrest those responsible for the attack and assess the security of SABC employees involved in uncovering the wrongdoing there.

The public broadcaster appointed Zikode in December 2017 in line with its "commitment to ensuring organisation stability, financial recovery, and sound governance".

Makhathini said Zikode was heading the clean-up operation, which dealt with investigations from the Special Investigating Unit, the Public Protector and about 180 reports from internal investigations.

He said in the SABC interview that "no amount of intimidation or whatsoever will stop us from doing what is right... to bring order to this place" and that people would be held accountable.

"He [Zikode] said he is ready to do this because it is the right thing to do," Makhathini said, adding that they were keeping him safe.

The DA said the police should immediately institute personal risk assessments on all staff members working to uncover corruption at the SABC and take steps to provide SAPS protection to high risk individuals.

"While we welcome news that suspects have been brought in for questioning, it remains clear that this is not an isolated incident. It is a coordinated effort by a corrupt network that had turned SABC into their fiefdom and now face a real possibility of being exposed," said the DA shadow minister for communication, Phumzile Van Damme.

"The DA looks forward to a thorough investigation of Thami Zikode's case, including all the unsolved cases at the SABC, as a critical first step in restoring the SABC as a safe working place for all its employees."

Source: News24

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