Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Minister of communications Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane doesn't know that the SABC plans to appoint Chris Maroleng as new chief operating officer.

South Africa's minister of communications Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane was unaware that the South African public broadcaster is set to appoint Chris Maroleng as the SABC's new chief operating officer (COO) - indicating that the SABC is apparently no longer looping the minister of communications in regarding top executive appointments.

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said she was clueless about Chris Maroleng becoming the new SABC COO who will be replacing the controversial and famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng, although SABC management and board sources said Chris Maroleng's official appointment is being finalised.

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said in a terse statement that she has “no knowledge of any official appointment”.

“The minister of communications has noted the media reports about the appointment of a chief operating officer at the SABC,” said Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane in a statement.

All appointments of the chief operating officer, CEO and chief financial officer (CFO) of state-owned entities are done through cabinet processes and therefore the announcements of the outcome are made by cabinet.”

“It is the minister’s responsibility to present any appointment of executives of the SOEs under the department of communications through cabinet processes. To this end, the minister has no knowledge of any official appointment of a COO of SABC.”

That the SABC is planning on appointing Chris Maroleng as COO without the knowledge of the minister of communications signals that the SABC is following the court decision in late-2017 affirming the SABC board's right to make all appointments of staff - especially of its top executives - without the prior approval or interference of the minister of communications.

Although the minister of communications is appealing the ruling, the communications minister has agreed to abide by the affirmation of the SABC's independent appointments process until the appeal can be heard in court.

The public pressure group, SOS Coalition, in a statement says it "notes with concern" the minister of communication's "statement that alleges that the SABC’s CEO, COO and CFO appointments are to be made by government through cabinet processes".

"The SABC is not an ordinary SOE, this fact was highlighted in recent court rulings."