Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

SABC, Mokoetle part ways

South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) group CEO Solly Mokoetle has resigned with immediate effect.

In a short statement to the press, the SABC the board said: “The SABC and Mr Solly Mokoetle wish to announce that Mr Mokoetle has resigned as the SABC CEO with effect from January 19 2011 and will pursue his career elsewhere. The parties have settled all other disputes between them and wish each other well fro the future.”

SABC CEO Solly Mokoetle announced his resignation in a press conference on Wednesday January 19, saying there are ‘irreconcilable differences’ between him and the board.

Earlier on Wednesday the SABC board met with Mokoetle’s lawyers and a settlement was reached that board member Cedric Gina insisted was confidential. However, Gina said, “I can say without any fear, it is not a [golden] handshake.”

Mokoetle said although the decision was not easy, it was in the best interests of the SABC, its staff, the nation, the board, his family and himself.

“I have been a broadcaster since the age of 18 and that’s all I know how to do,” he said.

The board said it was grateful for Mokoetle’s settlement offer as it would allow the company to fill the position quickly. “If we had gone through litigation it would have taken two years to find a new GCEO,” said Gina.

Mokoetle said he did not know what the future held for him. “What I do know is I’m very, very exhausted, I’m going to take time to go rest. But I hope I can still serve in this industry.”

The road to resignation

  • December 2009 — Solly Mokoetle appointed new CEO of the SABC
  • December 2009 — President Jacob Zuma appoints new board with effect from January 2010
  • January 2010 — The new board intends to challenge Mokoetle’s appointment by the interim board as it didn’t allow for due process to be followed, i.e. for the new board to appoint their own CEO
  • January 2010 — Then communications minister Simphiwe Nyanda defends Mokoetle’s appointment
  • January 2010 — New board denies that there is a rift between it and Mokoetle because of his appointment
  • January 2010 — Mokoetle criticised for allegedly questionable corporate governance and recommends appropriate disciplinary action against those implicated on a “shabby” 2005 audit report
  • March 2010 — Gab Mompone, the SABC’s former acting chief executive accuses the new chief executive Solly Mokoetle of having a pre-existing genda to get him sacked.
  • June 2010 — Mokoetle announces Phil Molefe as the new SABC head of news despite the board opposing the appointment
  • August 2010 — Board declares appointment of Molefe invalid after board chairperson Ben Ngubane and Mokoetle failed to consult the rest of the board about the appointment
  • August 2010 — Relations between the board and Mokoetle become reportedly hostile
  • August 2010 — Mokoetle accused of failing to meet a March deadline to deliver a turnaround strategy for board approval
  • August 2010 — Mokoetle is suspended by the board eight months after his appointment. Molefe’s appointment and failure to produce the strategy for the broadcaster by March were seen as contributing factors
  • August 2010 — Unions accuse Mokoetle of hiring Hlaudi Motsoeneng as manager for stakeholder management irregularly
  • August 2010 — Mokoetle intends to challenge suspension and any disciplinary action that may follow
  • September 2010 — Mokoetle files papers at the Arbitration Federation of South Africa asking for the matter to be heard urgently
  • October 2010 — Mokoetle takes financial strain, saying he has run up legal bills of more than R500 000 in the six weeks since his supsension
  • November 2010 — The SABC’s board objects to paying Mokoetle’s legal fees based on his R2-million annual salary.
  • January 2011 — Mokoetle resigns

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

The South African Bone Marrow Registry celebrates 30 years of...

‘It’s not drilling into bones!’: Misconceptions keep donors away, says SABMR, but a match outside of a patient’s family is a needle in a haystack

R500-million Covid-19 Gauteng hospital contract was irregularly awarded — SIU

The bank accounts of Pro Service Consulting and Thenga Holdings have been frozen

More top stories

With its industrial base decimated, SA’s economy needs real change...

Speaking at a book launch on Tuesday, the finance minister said a focus on manufacturing is critical to stem the country’s deepening unemployment crisis

Defence team cagey about Zuma’s health after state advised he...

The former president was absent from court, but his counsel argued that health matters be left aside, so as to hear his case for the removal of Billy Downer

The South African Bone Marrow Registry celebrates 30 years of...

‘It’s not drilling into bones!’: Misconceptions keep donors away, says SABMR, but a match outside of a patient’s family is a needle in a haystack

New clean fuel standards could be the end of refineries...

In the absence of mechanisms to recoup investment into cleaner fuels, refineries may be faced with tough decisions

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…