Wed Oct 18 16:33:05 CAT 2017

'Minister elbowed Molefe out'

2012-04-15 12:01:47.0 | NORMAN MASUNGWINI |

Communications minister Dina Pule allegedly interfered with the selection process for a new SABC CEO, which resulted in incumbent Lulama Mokhobo landing the job.

Gatvol SABC head of news Phil Molefe, who had been recommended by the interviewing panel, took leave after being passed over, allegedly following Pule's meddling - sparking rumours that he wanted to quit. Molefe had scored higher marks than Mokhobo.

Sunday World understands that Molefe was tipped to take over the reins at the SABC by two independent panelists scoring higher points than all the interviewees.

We have it on good authority that Pule called controversial COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng demanding to know who had been short-listed for the position. That's when the whole process was thrown into disarray, as even candidates who had not applied for the job were surprisingly brought in for interviews.

Still Mokhobo was not recommended.

Three independent sources say the political interference blocked Molefe's appointment.

"The intervention by the minister stopped the appointment of Molefe in favour of Mokhobo," says one source.

The sources, who occupy senior positions at the SABC, say Mokhobo scored the lowest points in the interviews, "but she got the position because there was a fear that Molefe won't toe the line set by the powers that be".

Upon Molefe's return to work, it is understood the first thing Mokhobo did was to demand that she be given a daily news diary.

She apparently complained about the interview the SABC had with Julius Malema, arguing that the matter under discussion was sub-judice, as Malema was still facing ANC disciplinary processes.

Bemused SABC staffers say the CEO clearly does not understand the sub-judice principle as it applies only to official court proceedings.

These matters have been brought to the attention of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago denies there was political interference in the CEO's appointment and he doesn't know who the board recommended or how many points the candidates scored: "Only the minister and the panel knows that."

Pule's spokesperson Siya Qozo says: "Minister Dina Pule appointed Ms Lulama Mokhobo as the Group CEO of the SABC after considering a recommendation by the board and after she had applied her mind."

Molefe refuses to comment, telling Sunday World that "I am not aware of that".

But our sources insist that he is aware of the political interference.

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