SABC board’s preferred candidate for CEO is wholly unsuitable

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Please find attached a soundbite by the DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile Van Damme MP

The DA has been reliably informed by several whistle-blowers that the SABC board’s preferred choice for Group CEO is Alan Mukoki, a candidate wholly unsuitable for the position.

Despite evidence presented of Mukoki’s unsuitability, almost all members of the board allegedly supported his appointment.

The DA strongly encourages the SABC board to reconsider and save the public broadcaster a likely long-drawn-out battle for Mukoki’s removal as GCEO.

While eminently qualified, Mukoki’s history in the public sector makes him an 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, including 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.

Mukoki resigned and was given a R4.5 million golden hand-shake. A few months later the Land Bank was placed under administration and transferred to the National Treasury.  The then Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan described it as being “in ICU”.

Given this history, it is absolutely unfathomable why anyone in their right mind would think Mukoki suitable to be the GCEO of the SABC.

The SABC simply cannot afford to give a high-risk candidate with a chequered past in the public sector the reins of leadership at the SABC.

The SABC needs steady hands. It requires innovative leadership to ensure it can stay afloat without requiring a bailout. It requires a person with a demonstrated commitment to clean governance. Mukoki is quite simply, not that person.

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