MultiChoice deal at heart of SABC ‘purge’
AXED SABC nonexecutive board member Hope Zinde was booted out after she clashed with acting board chairman Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe over the SABC’s controversial R500million deal with MultiChoice.
It has further emerged that Maguvhe, an associate professor at Unisa, is gunning for another board member, Rachel Kalidass, who he accuses of “fraudulent conduct” for leaving a board meeting early.
Zinde was removed from the board on Thursday after she and her allies walked out of a meeting where she was accused of having discussed board matters at an ANC communicators workshop three weeks ago.
Zinde was not the only SABC board member who attended the ANC meeting. Insiders say also present were Krish Naidoo, Dr Aaron Tshidzumba and Vuyo Mhlakaza.
It is understood that Maguvhe wrote to Zinde last week, demanding that she respond to allegations that she told the ANC meeting about the “sale of SABC archives”, which was an internal board matter.
Maguvhe was referring to an SABC deal with MultiChoice, in terms of which the SABC’s 24hour channel was given a platform on DStv and MultiChoice gained exclusive access to the SABC’s archives.
The deal also resulted in the SABC siding with MultiChoice in opposing a proposal that settop boxes for digital migration be configured in a way that would ease the entry of new players into the industry.
An insider who has seen correspondence between Maguvhe and Zinde said the latter expressed her opposition to the SABC stance on digital migration.
One board member said Zinde dared Maguvhe to take action against her — pointing out that she was not appointed by him and telling “him she is going to lay a formal complaint against him for threatening her with fabricated lies”.
This was followed by a letter from Maguvhe informing Zinde of a governance and nominations committee decision that the board should pass a vote of no confidence against her at Thursday’s meeting. When Zinde left that meeting, Maguvhe and his allies voted for her removal. But, according to another board member, “there was no quorum. The decision was unlawful.”
A board member said Zinde was among those being purged as they were not loyal to Maguvhe and chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
“She and other board members are seen as an obstacle. The SABC deal with MultiChoice went against both an ANC and a cabinet decision. It is wrong,” said an insider sympathetic to Zinde.
Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu, who is the chairwoman of the ANC subcommittee on communication, confirmed that SABC board matters were not discussed at the ANC meeting. She declined to comment further.
Zinde has written to parliament detailing the board shenanigans. She declined to talk to the media this week and
She said she was going to lay a complaint against him for fabricated lies
referred the Sunday Times to a statement she issued on Friday in which she states that she is still a board member and that her removal was “unlawful”.
Meanwhile, Maguvhe wants to investigate Kalidass for “fraud” for leaving a board meeting early in January.
He claims Kalidass left the meeting under the pretence that she had an early flight to her home in Nelspruit, but was instead dropped off in Morningside and only left for Nelspruit two days later.
Kalidass is said to have responded with a scathing letter in which she threatened to report Maguvhe to parliament and President Jacob Zuma.
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago was not available for comment at the time of going to press.
KICKED OFF: Hope Zinde