The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board member Rachel Kalidass has resigned.
In her resignation letter to Parliament on Thursday morning, Kalidass cited victimisation by fellow board members as a reason to call it a quit – following her objection to a preferred candidate for the Public Broadcasters’ Group Chief Executive Officer’s position.
“Group CEO candidate has allegations of fraud and corruption levelled against him during his previous employment,” Kalidass was reported as saying in her resignation letter.
Although Kalidass did not mention the chosen candidate in her letter, Democratic Alliance (DA) named him as Alan Mukoki – the former Land Bank CEO.
DA Shadow Minister of Communications Phumzile Van Damme said in a statement on Thursday her party was reliably informed by several whistle-blowers the SABC Board’s preferred choice for Group CEO post happened to be Alan Mukoki, a candidate wholly unsuitable for the position.
Van Damme said even if he was highly qualified, Mukoki’s history in the public sector made him inappropriate choice.
“A 2007 Deloitte & Touche forensic audit commissioned by the then Minister of Agriculture, Lulu Xingwana found that Mukoki and his executives had without board approval, diverted almost R2 billion meant for emerging farmers towards projects that had nothing to do with agriculture. The projects includes luxury golf estates, a sugar mill, equestrian estates and residential developments. Some of the beneficiaries of irregular loans were Mukoki’s business associates and high ranking ANC politicians and benefactors,” explained Van Damme.
She said few months later the Land Bank was placed under administration and transferred to the National Treasury, saying the then Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan described it [Land Bank] as being “in ICU.”
Van Damme said when Mukoki resigned he was given R4.5 million golden hand-shake.
It is deeply worrying that the decline at the SABC is following the same pattern as it did with the previous board.
“A candidate in Hlaudi Motsoeneng was forced through despite objections from some board members. Some resigned or where dismissed following their objections, resulting in a terminal downward spiral culminating in the SABC inquiry,” added Van Damme.
Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications is scheduled to meet with the SABC board on Friday, November 24, 2017 in Johannesburg.
- Board members appointed by President Jacob Zuma with immediate effect on October 17, 2017 to serve the public broadcaster for a period of five years are: Bongumusa Makhathini [Chairperson], Febe Potgieter-Gqubule [Deputy Chairperson], Krish Naidoo, Khanyisile Kweyama, John Matisonn, Mathatha Tsedu, Michael Markovitz, Victor Rambau, Dinkwanyane Mohuba and Jack Phalane including [Rachel Kalidass, resigned on Thursday, November 16, 2017].