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Cosatu: Statement by Patrick Craven, Congress of South African Trade Unions spokesperson, expressing concern over the alleged appointment of SABC head of news (21/05/2010)

21st May 2010

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The Congress of South African Trade Unions is deeply disturbed by allegations that the Chairperson and Chief Executive of the SABC, Ben Ngubane and Solly Mokoetle, have appointed Phil Molefe to the very important position of Group Executive: News and Current Affairs, without a mandate from the corporation's Board of Directors.

The federation, together with its partners in the SOS Coalition, sees this in a very serious light, and demands that the Board urgently investigates how the alleged appointment came to be made, and publishes the minutes of the Board meeting which took any such decision, so as to reassure the South Africa public that proper procedures were scrupulously followed.

If it is found that the Chair and the CEO operated in contravention of the SABC's corporate governance rules and protocols, the Board must then review the ‘decision' and appoint a legitimate Head of News who has its full support.

Given the crucial strategic role that the Head of News plays within the SABC it is essential that he or she should have the full confidence of the governing body, which was appointed after a process of public consultation, and which is broadly representative of all sections of South Africa society.

No senior official cannot expect to win the confidence of the SABC's viewers and listeners, the SABC staff and the broader South African public, if he or she does not even have the backing of the governing body. It is essential that the Head of News should be, and should be seen to be, fully committed to giving fair and balanced coverage of the views of all South African citizens without fear of favour.

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