why he was really axed

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

The real reason for Dali Mpofu's suspension from the SABC is that the organisation lost its soccer broadcasting rights, according to a statement issued by Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri.

The Premier Soccer League's exclusive TV rights to all fixtures were awarded to SuperSport International last year for R1billion over five years.

This was a major blow for the SABC since it had already lost the rugby and cricket broadcasing rights to Supersport.

Matsepe-Casaburri said information she had received from a briefing indicated that the board's reasons for the suspension had to do with governance and an attempt to avoid a developing "crisis".

"Their concerns centre on the budget, sports rights, staff problems at executive level and the impact that all these have on the business of the SABC," she said.

Mpofu was suspended last Wednesday for failing to implement decisions made by the SABC board. His suspension came a day after he suspended head of news Snuki Zikalala.

Matsepe-Casaburri's spokesman, Joe Makhafola, said: "In terms of the PSL contract we are looking into the issue to see why the SABC lost out to SuperSport."

Mpofu refused to comment.

SABC board chairman Kanyi Mkonza said: "I have not seen the minister's statement but we stand by what we said earlier."

Last week the SABC claimed Mpofu was suspended for "an alleged refusal and or failure to implement board decisions".