SABC tug-of-war finale nears

Dali Mpofu. Pic. Lucky Nxumalo. 10/07/2008.  Sowetan.
Dali Mpofu. Pic. Lucky Nxumalo. 10/07/2008. Sowetan.

Mfundelekwa Mkhulisi

Mfundelekwa Mkhulisi

A Johannesburg high court judge will on Monday decide who triumphs between the SABC board and its chief executive Dali Mpofu.

Yesterday the tug-of-war between lawyers representing the board and Mpofu over jurisdiction continued in the high court.

The board lawyers argued that Mpofu waived his rights to protest when he failed to object when he was asked to recuse himself from the meeting that discussed his suspension.

"The applicant did not object to the request," said advocate Paul Pretorius. "He left voluntarily."

Nonetheless, Pretorius said, Mpofu had no right to remain in the meeting that discussed his suspension because that would constitute a conflict of interest.

"If [Mpofu] did not recuse himself it would be impossible for him to take off his hat as an employee and not protect his interest."

He also said Mpofu and his two subordinates did not get the circulated documents before to the meeting because they contained privileged information.

Pretorius said even if that was not the case, the three still failed to demand the document.

The board wants the matter to be heard by the CCMA and not in a court of law.

However, Mpofu's lawyers rejected the proposal, saying the commission had no jurisdiction in matters involving board meetings and resolutions.

His lawyer, Vincent Maleka, said: "These are matters that the commission can't enquire into and pronounce upon."