'I am going to challenge and fight this'

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Sacked SABC chief executive officer Dali Mpofu wants to know what he has done to deserve being axed and why "serious" allegations levelled against him were dropped.

Mpofu told Sowetan yesterday that he would not let go and was prepared to fight the SABC all the way.

The SABC announced its decision to "part ways" with Mpofu on Friday, a day after giving him a letter informing him of the decision.

"I have never been called to a disciplinary hearing. The board claims that the allegations levelled against me have been dropped," said Mpofu. "If that is the case, I want to know what is it that I have done to get me fired."

Mpofu was accused by the SABC of, among other things, financial mismanagement, not following tender procedures, and he was blamed for the SABC's loss of broadcasting rights of Premier Soccer League matches to the rival SuperSport channel.

He said his dismissal was unfair and he was considering taking legal action.

"I will meet my lawyers during the week to discuss the matter. I am definitely going to challenge and fight this," Mpofu said.

The broadcaster said in a statement: "Following an SABC board meeting on January 20, the corporation is announcing that the board has taken a decision to part ways with suspended group chief executive officer Advocate Dali Mpofu with immediate effect."

Mpofu said he objected to the term "part ways".

"It was a unilateral decision to dismiss me," he said.

"Save our SABC" Coalition campaign coordinator Kate Skinner said yesterday: "This is a very serious decision that the SABC has taken. We are unhappy about it. Mr Mpofu was never called to a hearing and we will never know whether he is guilty or not. The SABC levelled serious allegations against him.

"Why is that the SABC is firing him if they did not have a hearing?"

She said the SABC was now going to have to face another round in court with Mpofu.

"We've seen this before and it has caused a crisis in the SABC."

Mpofu will be paid for the remainder of his contract, which ends next year.

He earned R4,5 million a year. But with his contract being terminated before time, the settlement is likely to be about R7 million.

Sowetan has it on good authority that Mpofu received an additional R2,1 million in bonuses.

Mpofu was suspended on May 7 last year, a day after he suspended news chief Snuki Zikalala, who has since been reinstated by the board.