On 4 March the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) issued the following statement regarding allegations in the media concerning its acting chief operating officer (ACOO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng. The statement reads: At the SABC Board Meeting held on Thursday 21 February 2013 chaired by the board chairperson, the board resolved to defer a discussion on the issue of the ACOO to a special meeting to be held in Cape Town, ahead of the board’s presentation to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications. Indeed the special meeting sat on Monday the 25th of February 2013.
The notice for the meeting was circulated after the Thursday 21 February 2013 meeting. At this quorate, properly constituted meeting (as prescribed by Section 16.2, 16.3 read with 8.1.2 of Articles of Association) in Cape Town, the additional agenda item deferred from the previous board meeting was proposed for addition onto the notice and the meeting unanimously resolved to continue with the meeting as a Special Board meeting (as it complied with all the statutory requirements), and empowered the meeting to include on the Agenda the issue of the ACOO (deferred from previous board meeting).
On the acting COO agenda item, the meeting resolved to release Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng of his responsibility as ACOO effective immediately and for him to revert back to his previous position. The meeting further appointed Mr Mike Siluma as the new ACOO with immediate effect. Whereas, Mr Siluma resigned, he will continue to act until end of April 2013.
The following morning (Tuesday) 26 February 2013, the board debriefed the board chairperson on his arrival and he accepted the board’s decision but requested implementation to be postponed to Monday the 4th of March 2013, which the board decided would not be helpful in terms of the stability of the Corporation. The GCEO subsequently implemented the decision and a courtesy letter (not a statutory requirement) was drafted to inform the shareholder. Another letter was also drafted for the former acting COO, subsequent to him having been formally informed in person. It is critical to note that, since then, the board has not met to rescind this resolution. It cannot be then that the board resolution to relieve the former acting COO of his acting duties has been rescinded. The so called “withdrawal’ of letters signed by the deputy chairman Thami ka Plaatjie (on behalf of the board) does not have any effect on the board resolution taken at a properly convened board meeting. The resolution stands until rescinded by another properly constituted board meeting.
The report (if accurate) in The New Age is regrettable as neither the chairman nor the deputy chairman nor both have the power or authority to unilaterally change a Board resolution. No such provision exists in the Broadcasting Act of 1999, Companies Act of 2008, Articles of Association / draft Memorandum of Incorporation. The board will meet in order to seek clarity from the chairman and the deputy chairman regarding the newspaper reports.