SABC bosses charged over Robert Marawa's hiring

Chris Maroleng

The SABC has allegedly charged its new chief operating officer Chris Maroleng and acting group executive for sports Marcia Mahlalela for their role in the appointment of Robert Marawa.

Sunday World understands that the two SABC executives were allegedly informed about the decision on Thursday, two weeks after the completion of an investigation instituted by former acting CEO Nomsa Philiso into Marawa's appointment.

Philiso instituted the investigations after receiving complaints from internal staff who alleged that the appointment did not follow the correct procedures, including that it was imposed by the said executives.

Three high-ranking SABC officials have revealed that upon receipt of the charges, Mahlalela tendered her resignation from the public broadcaster with immediate effect.

Charges she was allegedly facing include an allegation that she demoted her junior for refusing to draft a memorandum motivating for Marawa's appointment.

She was also to answer charges on the signing of the contract with Marawa without involving sports finance to check if there was a budget to fund the contract.

Another charge, according to a senior executive, related to Mahlalela's neglect of her fiduciary duties allegedly for agreeing to an exorbitant fee of R7000 per show for Marawa, which will cost the SABC R5.5-million over three years.

According to Marawa's contract, which is set to run from June 1 2018 to May 31 2021, the sports presenter is set to earn R154000 per month, which is R1.8-million per year, and R5.5-million by the end of his term.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago confirmed officials who are implicated in the forensic report for wrongdoing have been charged. "The SABC can confirm that the investigation into the process of appointment of Mr Robert Marawa has been finalised.

"The implicated officials will be afforded an opportunity to give their side of the story.

"The SABC is therefore not in a position to comment further as this is an internal matter."

Although a source said the report found that Marawa's appointment should be revoked, Kganyago did not confirm this finding.

Sunday World can reveal that Mahlalela led the process for Marawa's appointment and sealed the deal with her signature.

However, not everyone was pleased with the appointment, especially Orapeleng Lebethe, who is a known enemy of Marawa.

Lebethe was removed as acting general manager for sports, allegedly because he refused to motivate for Marawa's appointment.

Maroleng, according to officials close to the investigation, is set to face charges of interfering with the appointment and allegations that he failed to declare his friendship with Marawa.

These allegations were allegedly dismissed by Mahlalela when she was interviewed by investigators, and she exonerated Maroleng of any wrong doing.

But an official close to Maroleng confirmed that he was the one who kick-started the negotiations with Marawa, and that the two met two months ago at Montecasino in Fourways.

"He later handed over the discussions to Mahlalela to finalise the process," said the official.

However, an official close to Mahlalela said the sports executive had long wanted to leave as she had secured another job .

"She wanted to resign, unfortunately before she could do that, she was served with the charges. She decided to leave to avoid subjecting herself to unnecessary stress."

When contacted for comment this week, Mahlalela said she was not obliged to speak on the matter with the media.

She later claimed to be in a meeting.

Maroleng also declined to comment on the matter and referred all inquiries to Kganyago.

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