More woes for SABC

THE call by the Inkatha Freedom Party for an urgent probe into the controversy surrounding newly appointed SABC CEO Solly Mokoetle is spot-on.

THE call by the Inkatha Freedom Party for an urgent probe into the controversy surrounding newly appointed SABC CEO Solly Mokoetle is spot-on.

Mokoetle, who was the SABC's chief operations officer between 2001 and December 2006, took up office on January 1 on a five-year contract.

He reportedly left the state broadcaster in a huff as COO following a damning audit report compiled by Gobodo Forensic and Investigative Accounting in 2005.

The report is said to have revealed that the SABC commissioning department - which reported directly to Mokoetle - had paid about R56 million to companies involved in "collusive tendering" under hisgovernance.

Given this background, Mokoetle is not the most suitable candidate for the job.

Chances are there will once more be an outcry from some quarters about how the "rightwing" media has an agenda to discredit black executives. The question, however, is whether there were no other suitable candidates out there - without the baggage that Mokoetle seems to have - who could have been offered the job?

As IFP spokesperson Musa Zondi correctly argues, appointing someone like Mokoetle to the position does cloud the hopes that the SABC had put its woes and the controversies of the recent past behind it.

As Zondi has also correctly pointed out, the SABC cannot afford to have even a whiff of a scandal surrounding its new CEO if indeed it is on a new path to rid itself of the stigma of bad management.

X