SOS and Media Monitoring Africa welcome Maroleng's appointment

Chris Maroleng's appointment as the new chief operating officer at the SABC welcomed.
Chris Maroleng's appointment as the new chief operating officer at the SABC welcomed.

The SOS (Save Our SABC) Coalition and Media Monitoring Africa (MMA)‚ in a joint statement‚ have welcomed Chris Maroleng’s reported appointment as the new SABC COO “subject to final security vetting processes”.

“We wish Mr Maroleng all the best as he takes on the task of leading the turning around and rebuilding of South Africa’s public broadcaster.”

The Sunday World reported three senior managers had confirmed Maroleng was replacing Hlaudi Motsoeneng and would start next month.

Maroleng‚ who until now has been serving as group executive of corporate affairs at MTN‚ all but confirmed his appointment as the new chief operating officer of the public broadcaster on Twitter on Sunday.

Maroleng previously worked as an anchor on an e.tv current affairs programme where he famously said “Don’t touch me on my studio” during an on-air scuffle with former AWB general secretary André Visagie in 2010.

AWB General Secretary Andre Visagie Snaps on TV, Vows Revenge!

The SOS Coalition and Media Monitoring Africa are concerned about Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane’s remarks on the Karima Brown Show on Radio 702 on Monday night.

Kubayi-Ngubane said on air the SABC COO‚ CEO and CFO must be appointed “in consultation” with her.

A court order from December 6 last year said SABC Board executives can be appointed “after consultation” with the minister.

The order also said the minister does not have a veto right on the appointment of executive board members who must be appointed by non-executive members of the SABC Board.

“Are you saying that the head of state must hear from the news that somebody has been appointed?” Kubayi-Ngubane said.

“Are you saying as minister I must fold my arms if the SABC wants to hire…?”

Kubayi-Ngubane said on Maroleng’s alleged appointment: “As far I am informed‚ as far as I am aware‚ Mr Maroleng has not been appointed by the SABC Board and that is where I stand.”

The SABC in a statement on Tuesday reiterated it is responsible for appointing the CEO‚ COO and CFO. It said the appointment of the COO was “still being finalised” and appointing executives were “urgent priorities”.

“The Board wishes to state for the record that it has acted and will continue to act lawfully‚ and in line with the letter and spirit of the Interim Court Order‚ on this matter.”

The EFF criticised Kubayi-Ngubane remarks in a statement on Tuesday.

“We reject this as yet another attempt to interfere with the independence of the SABC Board in doing its work‚” EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.

“In all the stages of the appointments of executives‚ there is nowhere it includes Cabinet. It may very well be that Cabinet is informed‚ but this is a mere matter of noting. The Cabinet has no role‚ neither the President‚ in the appointment of SABC executives.”

The party said if Cabinet appointed SABC Board members it meant the SABC was “now fully a State Broadcaster”.

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