Former SABC chair Kanyi Mkonza — who this week admitted that she “sucks as a leader” — is not going down without a fight, writes Buddy Naidu in Business Times.

In a seven-page written submission to parliament’s communications portfolio committee she said the board was pressured into resigning because it dared to expose corruption and looting within the broadcaster.

Mkonza made the submission as the committee unanimously agreed on Friday to recommend to the national assembly that the board be dissolved after an at-times farcical inquiry into its ability to carry out its duties.

Two days earlier, 10 of the 11 remaining members of the board, asked the committee to dissolve it with immediate effect — with member Andile Mbeki imploring, “Please dissolve us.”

The three-day inquiry revealed an unrepentant and hostile board and SABC management at loggerheads with each other.

Mkonza said their strong political links had made senior executives “untouchables” and a law unto themselves. She said they were responsible for “looting” an organisation that is now drowning in an R834-million deficit.

Mkonza was one of three board members to submit letters to the committee — the others being former deputy chairman Christine Qunta and businesswoman Gloria Serobe.

Mkonza did not mention names, but alleged that:

# Senior managers ran up bills on petrol cards totalling R18-million between November 2007 and the present, in a scheme that was never disclosed to the board;

# A senior manager, with interests in the music industry, is responsible for the SABC’s music policy — a conflict of interest;

# There are other conflicts of interest among executives in the content enterprises division, due to outside business interests;

# A manager in the sports division owns a production company that receives commission work from the SABC;

# The sports division received a qualified audit with “an impairment of R76-million” in the last financial year (some of this loss pertaining to “wasteful expenditure” on acquisition of sports rights such as the Spanish soccer league, the Euro 2008 Championships and an ICC 20/20 tournament); and

ýMoney was wasted in buying international content.

Mkonza said: “The pressure for board members to resign now could be linked to people inside and outside the SABC not wanting the board to deal with these acts of possible rampant corruption.”

She added that the board was unable to act because of management’s “perceived political and parliament(ary) protection”, its “litigious nature”, pressure on the board to resign and “negative media and public perceptions on the board”.

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