Modise 'out of his depth at the LOC'

Tim Modise’s days at the 2010 local organising committee (LOC) are numbered and the only questions are whether he will fall on his own sword or be axed, say informed sources close to the LOC and in the government.

The sources told the Mail & Guardian the one-time star broadcaster is struggling with his role as chief officer of communications and marketing.

Modise, formerly a talk-show host at SAfm, Talk Radio 702 and SABC TV, joined the LOC in January last year.

He resigned last month, but changed his mind after a meeting with the organisation’s officials. Modise is said to favour taking up a role as a consultant instead of staying as a full-time staffer.

According to a government official Modise stayed on because the two parties “couldn’t find a workable solution … but he’ll be out soon.
The LOC wants to buy time and use him for the communication skills he possesses and get someone who will drive the marketing department.

“Modise is out of his depth at the LOC, which is why he wanted out not so long ago. In fact he wanted to become a consultant because he has not had an 8-to-5 job in a long time. And reporting to someone is not something he is used to. It is very difficult for him because he is not competent. From being your own boss to an employee is something which is hard for anyone. The 2010 project needs to be delivered fast and in time,” the source said.

According to another source, the only reason for keeping Modise at Safa House (the LOC’s headquarters) was his huge salary package, said to be in the region of R2-million a year.

“Although the LOC might be paying him a fortune, he still wants to be where his heart lies—which is behind the mic—and become a part-time employee of the organising committee. He cannot implement marketing strategies at all and I doubt if he will stay any longer at the LOC,” the source said.

Modise said he was aware of the prevailing sentiment but was not perturbed. In February the Sunday Times reported that there was tension between Modise and LOC chief executive Danny Jordaan. Both men later denied there was bad blood between them.

Said Modise: “Such things do happen and people are entitled to their opinions and views. There are so many projects I’m involved in and I’m going to a meeting as we speak—so I can’t say I’m not used to the 8-to-5 job.

“It’s unfair to say I’m incompetent in terms of marketing because we have marketing veterans like Lethepu Matshaba who are good at what they do and they are reporting to me. There are a number of campaigns which I’m involved in which we will launch this year.”

Another LOC communication official, Tumi Makgabo, has also tendered her resignation and will leave at the beginning of June.

The M&G has learnt that, unlike Modise’s, Makgabo’s decision to quit was prompted by Jordaan’s stifling management style.

“She just wanted to express herself and Danny likes to micromanage everything,” said the source.

Having been intimately involved in the management of previous World Cups, Jordaan, according to informants, feels that he is the best placed South African to ensure the success of the 2010 event. As a result he failed to delegate tasks to subordinates.

Makgabo is planning to “do her own thing” after leaving.

Other LOC officials who have quit in recent months include head of human resources Nomzamo Kasana, senior marketing staffer Emy Casaletti, head of the African Legacy Programme Eddie Maloka and Sandile Ndzekeli, who was head of Fifa marketing in the LOC.

The government source said they were not worried about the resignations and did not believe there was a crisis. “Again, we have to understand that people come and go and the 2010 LOC is a temporary set-up. Management style issues can be solved, we need to look at the people that we have; if they will be able to help us achieve our goal of hosting a successful 2010 World Cup.”

Government spokesperson Themba Maseko said: “There are a number of issues that were raised concerning the 2010 LOC, but we are confident that the board will deal with them so that they don’t affect progress for the 2010 World Cup.

“I’m not in a position to reveal what issues were raised,” he said.

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