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SABC told to suspend search for COO

Jan 31 2012 08:20 Sapa

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Johannesburg - The SABC has been asked to suspend its search for a chief operating officer, the communication ministry said on Monday.

Communications Minister Dina Pule had made the request to the board after reading a newspaper report on the process being followed to fill the position, said ministry spokesman Siyabulela Qoza.

"The minister immediately requested the board to suspend the current search and to follow a normal and wider executive appointment process," he said.

"She wants to make sure the process is fair and that all applicants are considered." Qoza said he did not know if the SABC had acted on Pule's request.

Sapa was unable to reach SABC spokesperson Kaiser Kganyago on Monday afternoon.

The Sunday Independent reported that Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who was "an ANC deployee at the SABC" and a supporter of President Jacob Zuma, was set to get the job.

The position, the second most powerful post at the organisation, had been advertised only internally and applicants had been given just three working days to apply, the newspaper reported.

Motsoeneng was apparently going to receive the job despite not having a matric certificate or top management experience. SABC chief executive Lulama Mokhobo reportedly said a matric certificate was not a requirement for the post.

The Communication Workers' Union (CWU) has called for Motsoaneng's permanent appointment.

He had the CWU's support because he had worked for the SABC since the 1990s and "understood the needs and frustrations of journalists", union spokesperson Matankana Mothapo said.

"He has always been a fine worker and, since his appointment as acting COO, he has made changes for the better," Mothapo said in an interview.

The union represents 50 000 workers in the information, communications and technology sector.

Qoza said Pule had also noted media reports on the settlement between the SA Post Office (Sapo) and its outgoing chief executive Motshoanetsi Lefoka.

Last week, Sapo said it reached a "mutually agreed separation" from Lefoka, but declined to comment on the details of agreement.

"The details of the agreement between Sapo and Ms Lefoka are subject to legal processes and guidelines. A public disclosure of the terms of the settlement at this stage would constitute a breach of this agreement," Qoza said. 

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