Sunday, April 28, 2019

SABC board was split on whether to fire Chris Maroleng as COO as 4 members wanted the axed executive to get a final warning letter - reports.

The new quorate again SABC board was apparently split about whether to fire the now-axed Chris Maroleng as chief operating officer (COO) according to Sunday newspaper reports, with 4 SABC board members who wanted him to stay on and get a final warning letter.

It comes after Chris Maroleng was fired on Monday by the SABC.

Chris Maroleng's tenure as SABC COO lasted just over a year since he was appointed in January 2018 as chief operating officer to replace the fired Hlaudi Motsoeneng who was SABC COO before him.

Earlier this month Chris Maroleng was found guilty on 3 out of 4 charges, including gross negligence and breaching fiduciary duty, following a disciplinary inquiry against him that was started in late-2018.

The SABC also investigated the protection by Chris Maroleng of Marchi Mahlalela, the SABC's former acting SABC Sport boss, who resigned from the SABC following her own disciplinary hearing.

Chris Maroleng used his SABC COO position to try and help Marchi Mahlalela getting hired at the South African Rugby Union (Saru) and going as far as allegedly writing a letter in his official capacity as SABC COO to confirm that Marchi Mahlalela was innocent of any wrongdoing.

Another charge involved appointing Carmen Schneider, a human resources staffer to Chris Maroleng's office to manage his turnaround management programme that he started and called "Sparkle".

The SABC said that Chris Maroleng ignored HR advice and gave Carmen Schneider an allowance of R15 000 to be the Sparkle project leader despite an agreement with the SABC HR boss, Jonathan Thekiso, that there would not be any changes to Schneider's terms of employment, contract and salary.

According to Sunday reports, the decision to fire Chris Maroleng had to be put to a vote after 4 SABC board members didn't want to get rid of him and argued that the right course of action would have been a final warning letter.

Vuyo Mthembu, SABC spokesperson, said "The SABC disputes this gross misrepresentation of what took place at the SABC board meeting".

However, the SABC didn't want to put forth what it the public broadcaster's view took place at the meeting.

"All matters discussed at board meetings are confidential and we will therefore not divulge the details thereof," said Vuyo Mthembu.

"The SABC has a solid and united board that takes decisions in the best interest of the organisation. The SABC remains committed to ensuring sound governance and consequence management, irrespective of person's position within the corporation."

"We are confident the public and all key stakeholders support the SABC in its tough stance on governance and fiduciary failures."