SABC board boss blames Zuma for crisis

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma's "indifference" is to blame for the public broadcaster's woes, says outgoing SABC board chairperson Kanyi Mkonza.

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma's "indifference" is to blame for the public broadcaster's woes, says outgoing SABC board chairperson Kanyi Mkonza.

Mkonza, who had a day earlier admitted that she "sucked as a leader", said Zuma had failed to show leadership and ought to have said whether he wanted the board to stay or not.

His "failure" to do so "exacerbated the problem" at the public broadcaster, said Mkonza, who yesterday stepped down as a board member.

Mkonza, while admitting failure, insisted political interference was to blame.

"Though I suck as a leader, I am saying due to the political climate of the country this board never had a chance and that's what we need to be talking about," an angry Mkonza said.

She told Sowetan that the SABC would never be able to resolve its crisis as long as it had "cartels of management who run to politicians and the high court every time the board wants to act against them" - a direct reference to Dali Mpofu, sacked as chief executive but later reinstated after a court ruling.

Mkonza and 11 other board members, as well as executive members, were appearing before Parliament's communications committee to account for the SABC crisis.

Emotions ran high during the meetings. On Tuesday, board member Rob Nicholson summed up what he said was the root of the crisis.

"This board got a motor car that was rusting and its wheels were wobbling. And we drove it off a cliff as a board and as management."

The outgoing board has made several allegations about SABC executive managers, including that they overspent by R80million on international offices.

Parliament is now set to appoint an interim board next week - but it is unclear how the broadcaster will get out of its financial mess.

X