'Mokoetle was appointed legally'

SABC interim board chairperson Irene Charnley has dismissed the fuss over the appointment of Solly Mokoetle as group chief executive officer.

SABC interim board chairperson Irene Charnley has dismissed the fuss over the appointment of Solly Mokoetle as group chief executive officer.

The Sunday Times reported that the incoming board was unhappy with Mokoetle's appointment.

The new board, announced by President Jacob Zuma in December, will be chaired by former arts and culture minister Ben Ngubane with Felleng Sekha as his deputy.

The non-executive members are Cedric Sabelo Gina, Pippa Green, Peter John Harris, Barbara Masekela, Magathe Mello, Nkotomane Motsepe, Baldwin Ngubane, David Niddrie, Clare O'Neil, Felleng Sekha Suzanne Vos and Desmond Golding.

An unidentified member of the new board told the paper that they would have preferred to appoint their own CEO.

The board member said Mokoetle's appointment, which was approved by Communication Minister Siphiwe Nyanda, had the potential to plunge the SABC into total chaos.

Yesterday Charnley said Mokoetle's appointment was open and above board.

She said the interim board - whose term ends on January 10 - will address the media briefing with the new board this week.

"The new board will have to say what their position is."

Charnley said the interim board followed proper channels to appoint Mokoetle and could not have consulted the new board since it was nonexistent.

"It was our responsibility to appoint a CEO and we acted legally," she said.

Other interim board members are Libby Loyd, Phillip Frederick, Phil Mtimkulu, Leslie Kgopotse Sedibe and Suzanne Vos.

Mokoetle, who was SABC's chief operations officer between 2001 and 2006, takes over from acting CEO Gab Mampone.

According to the Sunday Times the Gobodo report found that the SABC commissioning department, which was under Mokoetle, paid R56million to companies involved in collusive tendering.

Nyanda spokesperson Tiyane Rikhotso said yesterday that Mokoetle's appointment was done by the board and the minister had not received any formal complaint.

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