more woes for sabc

THE SABC yesterday suspended two top executives for "seriousmisconduct".

The suspended executives are head of News International channel Saul Pelle, pictured, and News International editor Montlenyane Diphoko.

"Dr Pelle was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing, while Diphoko is suspended pending an investigation into alleged misconduct," a source toldSowetan.

The two allegedly put the channel in the red by R15million.

Among other things, they allegedly paid huge sums to individuals without any signed contracts with the corporation. "These payments were based on verbal agreements," said the informant.

Diphoko also faces a charge of sexual harassment after female staffers complained about his conduct.

"The SABC would like to stress that these actions do not in any way amount to a pronouncement of guilt on the part of both employees," SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said last night.

"Due to ongoing investigations, SABC management can unfortunately not reveal any further details at this stage," he said.

It has recently been widely reported that the broadcaster is in chaos with some producers and news readers drawing two salaries as permanent staff and freelancers.

Those fingered in this debacle include Desiree Chauke and Aubriel Mpofu, who are reported to have been earning a combined salary of R125000 a month each as producers and presenters of 180 Degrees.

The SABC is currently without a chief executive officer, a chief executive of news and a permanent board.

This is after previous chief executive Dali Mpofu was placed on suspension almost a year ago.

The chief executive of news Snuki Zikalala's contract was not renewed and the board was dissolved by Parliament following allegations of mismanagement and wastefulness, which has plunged the broadcaster into a financial crisis, needing financial injection from the government running into millions.