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Fourth SABC board member quits

06 December 2018 - 13:32 By TimesLIVE
SABC board member Krish Naidoo confirmed his resignation on Thursday, December 6 2018, the fourth board member to resign.
SABC board member Krish Naidoo confirmed his resignation on Thursday, December 6 2018, the fourth board member to resign.
Image: Waldo Swiegers / Sunday Times

The presidency has said that four members of the SABC board have resigned, the public broadcaster reported on Thursday.

“We can confirm that the president has received four letters of resignation from members of the SABC board, being Krish Naidoo, Miss Khanyisile Kweyama, John Mattison as well as Mr Mathata Tsedu,” presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko was quoted as saying.

The board was appointed by former president Jacob Zuma in September 2017.

Eyewitness News reported on Thursday that the broadcaster’s interim board was being investigated by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) over the irregular awarding of a multibillion-rand contract.

Naidoo confirmed his resignation earlier on Thursday. Naidoo told the broadcaster’s radio news that he had thrown in the towel.

Eyewitness News revealed the contents of the resignation letters in a report on Wednesday. Naidoo, in his, appeared to blame the board for a breakdown in its relationship with newly appointed communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

Mattison’s resignation letter referred to the board’s refusal to suspend retrenchments.

Nearly 1,000 permanent staff and 1,200 freelancers face retrenchment as the broadcaster grapples with a cash crisis that if not resolved will see staff not being paid their salaries in the first quarter of 2019.

BusinessLIVE reported on Tuesday that the SABC had dismissed reports that its CEO Madoda Mxakwe had resigned.

But the broadcaster did not deny speculation that at least three board members had stepped down after clashing with Ndabeni-Abrahams over the planned retrenchments.

“The SABC has noted media reports speculating that three members of the SABC board have resigned. The relevant and correct authority to comment on SABC board resignations is the presidency,” said SABC spokesperson Neo Momodu.

Weekend media reports suggested that Ndabeni-Abrahams had “gone to war” with the board over its insistence on carrying out retrenchments to avert a cash crisis. The minister appeared to favour negotiating a bailout with finance minister Tito Mboweni.