South Africa: SABC Condemns Leaking of Memorandum Containing Allegations Against Executive Management

21 September 2019

The SABC board has condemned the leaking of a document concerning allegations of misconduct against the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) Madoda Mxakwe and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Yolande van Biljon.

In a statement by the board on Saturday, it's alleged that a memorandum authored by two non-executive directors "containing untested allegations" has been widely distributed to the media.

"On 13 September, 2019, a memorandum by Deputy Chairperson Ms. Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi and Dr Marcia Socikwa was submitted for Board consideration," SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu said.

The memorandum contains allegations of misconduct made against Mxakwe and Van Biljon.

"The memorandum was not discussed by the Board as the document was distributed shortly before the meeting was set to commence."

"Consequently, the Board decided that the memorandum and matters relating to complaints against Ms Mohlala-Mulaudzi and Dr Socikwa would be discussed at the next meeting."

Mthembu added that the Board believes the leaking of the memorandum is highly prejudicial to the SABC GCEO and CFO as it contains allegations that have not been tested.

"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."

Mxakwe labelled the allegations contained in the memorandum are wholly unfounded, baseless, and defamatory and said he would be consulting with his legal team 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," Mxakwe said.

He added that 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."

Mxakwe said the leaking of the memorandum is a clear indication of an intense 'fight back' campaign waged against both the Board and the executive management team.

"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."

"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 Board reaffirmed its support for the current Executive Management team under the leadership of Mxakwe, saying that excellent work has been performed.

"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 statement read.

"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."

Source: News24

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