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story – South Africa’s SABC board suspends GCEO under disciplinary process

On 30th. Aug 2010, after a week of drama involving the SABC board, its chairman Dr Ben Ngubane, GCEO Solly Mokoetle, the parliamentary portfolio committee on communications and the press, the board has now issued a statement announcing the suspension of Mokoetle, pending the outcome of a disciplinary process. The board has appointed Chief Financial Officer Robin Nicholson as acting GCEO.

This latest move follows the issuing of a statement by Ngubane last week refuting that the board had served Mokoetle with a letter stating their intention to suspend him. Friction between the board and Ngubane and Mokoetle erupted several weeks ago when the pair appointed Phil Molefe as head of the news department without the board’s sanction.

According to this latest statement, the board decided, after a meeting held on Thursday, 26 August, that it would be in the best interests of both the SABC and the GCEO that he be suspended.

Formal charges will be completed and provided to Mokoetle shortly. The disciplinary hearing will be headed by an independent legal professional.

The statement reads: “The Board is committed to ensuring the process is scrupulously fair. The Board therefore agreed that it and individual directors will make no statements either on the merits of the case being prepared or on the detail of any of the charges.”

“It asks that all stakeholders, including the media, respect the due process underway and allow it to take its course.

“The Board has a number of immediate priorities, among them completion of its annual report, which must be approved at an annual general meeting by the Shareholder and tabled in and presented to Parliament shortly. It must also oversee preparation and implementation of a turnaround strategy to enable the SABC to bring to an end to the financial crises that have hounded it for several years.

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