Mpofu, SABC battle not over

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Thew controversy at the South African Broadcasting Corporation is far from over; chief executive, Dali Mpofu, is headed for court to do battle again.

Mpofu has been suspended for the second time in a month. A letter to this effect was delivered to his home on Thursday night.

Mpofu was first suspended on May 7, a day after he suspended SABC news chief executive Snuki Zikalala after the latter allegedly leaked sensitive information to the media.

Mpofu challenged his suspension and the Johannesburg high court ruled in his favour. The SABC was on June 2 denied leave to appeal this decision.

"I have been in contact with my lawyers and we will challenge this unlawful suspension in court," Mpofu said.

He said during the time he had been back at work he had managed to catch up on his duties.

"There was a lot to do," he said. "The board has not tried to prevent me from doing my job. But this suspension will cause yet another setback."

Board chairman Kanyi Mkonza said: "We note the media campaign by certain individuals and groups to create an impression of chaos when the overwhelming majority of SABC staff and executive management are continuing to carry out their duties in a professional way.

"These campaigns will not deter the board from carrying out its fiduciary duties in the best interests of the corporation."

The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) has called for the immediate resignation of the board.

"It seems fair to say that the SABC has been beset with instability for some time. This can be attributed in part to the fact that it has always been and remains a hybrid beast: part commercial broadcaster, part public broadcaster, it has lurched between the two for many years," said FXI's Jane Duncan.