Fri Apr 18 15:06:05 SAST 2014

Lerato shows CNBC her behind

Feb 5, 2012 | NORMAN |

TV anchor Lerato Mbele has served her employers CNBC Africa with divorce papers.

Though the termination of contract was by mutual agreement, Mbele tendered her resignation on Wednesday and left the company with immediate effect.

The Regional Round Up, Beyond Markets and Captains of Industry presenter says her resignation had been a long time coming.

"I've been thinking about it for about eight months," she says.

She says she reached her full potential at CNBC and couldn't grow further.

But her relationship with her employer is said to have irretrievably broken down in the last year.

Mbele believes the company was holding her back.

The straw that broke the camel's back was when Mbele was invited to speak at the World Bank and IMF annual meeting in Washington DC in September last year and her employer wanted her to use her appearance to solicit funding for CNBC.

"I'm a journalist and couldn't act as a marketing person for the channel.

"I couldn't secure funding from the World Bank or IMF for the channel," she says.

This happened at the time that Mbele changed her employment contract to became an independent anchor to allow her free movement.

"The World Bank and IMF had made it clear in their invitations that it was not for CNBC but for me as an individual," says Mbele.

She says she was mortified by CNBC's attitude.

"This incident served as a wake-up call to move on," she says.

This wasn't the first time, she spoke at an International event - or the first time the channel was annoyed by such invitations.

In June last year she was invited to speak at the the African Development Bank in Portugal but the company allegedly felt they weren't benefiting commercially from these international engagement.

Mbele found this completely irregular, considering that a media company should celebrate the growing status of their main anchor.

Despite this Mbele credits her rise to international stardom to CNBC platform.

"It seems the more recognition I got from the world the more angry the employer got."

Mbele had left the SABC in 2007 to join CNBC Africa.

"I had my doubts about the decision when I left SABC to join them," she says.

Mbele says her family and colleagues thought she was going to leave in September but she stayed.

"In January I took a decision to leave as part of my New Year's resolution," she says.

Efforts to get comment from CNBC Africa were unsuccessful. Their publicist Nola Mashaba's phone was off and she hadn't returned our messages at the time of going to press.

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