Vice president fights back after suspension by Black Business Council

Black Business Council vice president Keith Thabo
Black Business Council vice president Keith Thabo
Image: Black Business Council

The Black Business Council has suspended one of its senior office bearers following allegations of gender-based violence.

The council, which serves as an advocacy group for black businesses and professionals across all sectors, confirmed the suspension of its vice-president Keith Thabo with immediate effect after "there was a case of GBV opened against him".

"The BBC has, with immediate effect, suspended the vice president business, Keith Thabo, due to allegations of GBV, pending the outcome of the matter in court," said the council's chief executive Kganki Matabane in a statement.

"The decision was taken after it came to the attention of the national office bearers of the BBC that there was a case of GBV opened against Keith Thabo.

"The decision does not suggest any guilt on the part of Keith Thabo, but it is a precautionary measure to allow him space and time to deal with the allegations against him," he said.

He said the council condemns all incidents of GBV in the strongest possible terms.

"We call on the law enforcements agencies to prosecute those who are involved in GBV without fear or favour in order to heal our beloved country of this pandemic.

"The BBC is unequivocal in its stand against GBV and femicide. Any form of violence is never acceptable, never excusable and never tolerable," said Matabane.

During an interview with Sowetan on Thursday Thabo said that his suspension was illegal.

He said the council's memorandum of incorporation made it illegal for an office bearer to be placed on suspension. Thabo added that he had planned to step down from his position due to a demanding workload.

"I called the president [Sandile Zungu] on Wednesday, wanting to inform him that I wanted to resign due to a heavy work schedule but he did not pick up nor return my calls," he said.

"Little did I know that they had called an emergency meeting to discuss me. It's unethical what they have done as they don't have legal standing to suspend me due to my private life. The matter is still in court and we have to await the outcome of the court process," he said.

Thabo said he has reconsidered his decision to resign from the BBC and that he would continue to represent the organisation in his official capacity.

The police were not immediately available for comment.

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