Fri Oct 21 16:58:30 CAT 2016

SABC-Mpofu mediation fails, so it's back to court

By unknown | Jul 07, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Dudu Busani

Dudu Busani

It's back to court for the SABC and its suspended group chief executive officer Dali Mpofu after they failed to resolve their dispute through mediation.

The two parties were given a week by the Johannesburg high court to settle the matter out of court, but the mediation process never even began.

"The mediation process did not happen, we never even had a meeting because we could not agree on anything with the SABC board," said Mpofu's lawyer, Sandile July. "They refused to lift Mpofu's suspension before we could talk."

Mpofu had earlier said that he would not taking part in the mediation while still suspended because he "could not negotiate from inside a prison cell".

This despite a plea by high court Judge Mohamed Jajbhay for the parties to "sit down as adults, forget your personal differences and resolve this matter".

Judge Jajhbay even offered to volunteer as mediator if need be.

In court Mpofu will demand that the board meeting of June 11 - from which he and two other members were asked to leave before the decision to suspend him was taken - be declared unlawful.

He also wants his suspension and a disciplinary inquiry against him set aside. Mpofu and the SABC board have been having a go at each other since he suspended the broadcaster's news chief, Snuki Zikalala, on May 6.

Mpofu was suspended a day later on allegations of misconduct. His suspension was later declared unlawful and invalid by the court. The SABC tried to appeal the court's ruling but failed.

A petition was later signed by SABC staff members demanding that the board step down.

Their wish was not granted. Instead Mpofu was suspended again.

The board's spokesman could not be reached for comment.


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