Broadcaster airs more dirty linen

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

Poor bumbling SABC, for it seems that it never rains but it pours at Auckland Park.

The controversy surrounding the suspensions of chief executive Dali Mpofu and head of news Snuki Zikalala has trickled down the organisation as allegations of a jobs-for-pals scandal emerge.

Sources told Sowetan yesterday that SABC board chairman Khanyisile Mkhonza and her deputy, Christine Qunta, were pushing for the appointment of Pearl Luthuli as chief operating officer.

Luthuli is in charge of the SABC's commercial radio stations and SABC3.

She reports to Charlotte Mampane, now acting in the job for which Luthuli is being punted.

"She is about to be appointed chief operating officer though she faces an internal investigation into mismanagement of funds," the source said indignantly.

"The forensic investigation includes the running and awarding of the Metro FM awards."

A recruitment agency turned down Luthuli's application for the post last year, said the source.

Mvuzo Mbebe, who has been credited with turning the sport department around, had also applied and was recommended by the agency.

"But after executive intervention his appointment was stopped and Mampane appointed on an acting basis," the source said.

An official in Luthuli's department said that Mkhonza would be making the biggest mistake of her career if she appointed Luthuli.

"Luthuli does not know anything," the official said. "She is unsuited to the position and runs the department from the social events she constantly attends.

"Staff morale in the department is low because she does not have a good working relationship with her boss, Mampane."

Contacted for comment, Luthuli threatened to sue this reporter.

Luthuli denied the allegations, saying people were taking advantage of the suspensions.

"I have a great working relationship with Mampane. All that is utter rubbish," she said.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said he was not aware of the allegations.