The SABC has come out strongly against media reports that there is yet more staff drama at the public broadcaster. A report in Sunday World this past weekend said the SABC had plunged into a ‘catastrophic’ crisis following the resignation of key staff members.
Sunday World said group executive (Risk) Itani Tseisi and Lerato Nage who, until February was acting chief financial officer, tendered their resignations this week.
“Tseisi was based in the office of Group CEO Lulama Mokhobo, who tried to stop him from resigning. This sparked a disagreement between her and controversial acting chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who insisted that he had already accepted Tseisi’s resignation and it could therefore not be reversed.
“While Tseisi’s decision to quit caused a storm, Nage’s resignation was even more dramatic. Disregarding the normal 31 days’ notice, Nage decided to serve 24 hours’ notice, which left tongues wagging in SABC corridors,” the paper reported.
The Sunday World said the moves were a result of Mokhobo embarking on a purge of staff that she believes are undermining her authority. Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the acting COO, the paper said, was top of her list.
But Mokhobo and Motsoeneng have issued a joint statement disputing the tabloid’s story. They said they “noted with concern, the malicious report in yesterday’s Sunday World newspaper titled ‘SABC faces new crisis’ and previous reports from the same paper”.
The pair said reports that there is tension and division between them “could not be further from the truth”.
“The fact that senior managers leave the SABC does not imply that the organisation is in crisis. Like any other company, employees have the free choice and will to resign from an organisation, to pursue other career avenues,” the statement said.
“The two parties would like to put it on record that there has been no ‘fallout’ as suggested in the article, and have worked well together since the GCEO joined the SABC to lead the organisation. The decisions that any of the two make, are made after consultation with each other, and are in accordance with the policies and regulations of the SABC.”
Mokhobo and Motsoeneng said as key leaders in the organisation, they “share the same vision to continue making the public service broadcaster, deliver on its mandate to the South African public, and are thus baffled at the reports that the Acting COO has made ‘unauthorised executive decisions and pronouncement that have had costly financial implications’.”