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SABC boss Solly Mokoetle resigns

SUSPENDED SABC group chief executive officer Solly Mokoetle has resigned

Mokoetle said at a media briefing at the broadcaster's headquarters in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, yesterday that his decision would spare him and the already cash-strapped SABC a long court battle.

Mokoetle was appointed group chief executive officer of the SABC on December 15 2009.

By May last year reports of tension between him and the SABC board that was appointed by President Jacob Zuma surfaced.

The board gave Mokoetle a warning after accusing him of "fundamentally failing to report" to it.

In November Mokoetle was hauled before a disciplinary hearing after being suspended by the public broadcaster's board in September.

His disciplinary hearing should have continued today after it was adjourned on Monday. He had been on suspension since September.

He was accused of failing to deliver on a turn-around strategy for the broadcaster.

"It is a sad day for me that I had to accede to submitting my resignation to the SABC," he said.

"Obviously, it is not an easy decision. It is one which I believe is in the best interests of the SABC, the nation I have committed to serve, all the staff that I worked hard with, the board and my family who suffered in the past six months.

"I leave with a heavy heart because this is an organisation that I love very much, that I have committed my whole professional experience to serve."

He said broadcasting was the only thing he knew.

"I hope that God can give me the ability and power to serve my people. I thank the board for acceding to release me without further animosity. I wish to thank the shareholder for assisting us in coming to this conclusion and to clear the path forward," he said.

Mokoetle said he was "very exhausted".

"I will take a while to rest. I will discuss with my family what I will do next. For six months I waited for the disciplinary process to be initiated but it never happened.

"It became clear that there were differences between the board and I. The relationship had collapsed.

"There was no way that we could continue working as a team," Mokoetle said.

Board member Cedric Gina said they were working towards stabilising the public broadcaster.

"We will start the process of appointing a new group chief executive. We have turned the corner and are looking forward to getting four new board members. The board will continue to serve South Africans as we committed," Gina said.

He said there was no pressure from Communications Minister Radhakrishna Padayachie.

Gina said they would not discuss Mokoetle's settlement agreement and added that there was no golden handshake.

The DA welcomed Mokoetle's resignation and said he had "got off to the worst possible start".