S.Africa state TV reels as top executives quit
South Africa's troubled public broadcaster revealed Monday that the chairman of the board and his deputy have resigned amid allegations of political interference.
Ben Ngubane was appointed chairman by President Jacob Zuma in 2009, and his deputy Thami ka Plaatjie joined in June 2012.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation reported that the resignations came as Communication Minister Dina Pule “appealed for the board to resolve its internal disagreements”.
No further reasons were given for their departure.
Zuma’s office said in a statement he had received the resignation notices and was considering them.
Ngubane has been criticised for allowing the state broadcaster to become a mouthpiece for the ruling African National Congress and for Zuma.
“They blatantly abused the SABC’s platforms,” to support Zuma’s reelection at an ANC conference last year, the opposition Democratic Alliance alledged, urging Zuma to accept the resignations.
Ngubane and Plaatjie join a long list of SABC board members who have left the broadcaster or were fired before the end of their term.
The giant broadcaster is also under fire for a range of maladministration problems, including excessive pay for its top brass.
In 2011, Ngubane told parliament that the loss-making corporation was on almost insolvent and on the brink collapse.
The broadcaster employs 3,600 people and broadcasts in the country’s 11 official languages.
Its management exodus comes after mass resignations last year at another state-owned entity, South African Airways (SAA), the national carriers.