SABC CE Dali Mpofu has denied reports that he said he would resign as
head of the public broadcaster in protest against Jacob Zuma’s election
as the new president of the African National Congress (ANC), write Linda Ensor, Thom Maclachlan and Hajra Omarjee in Business Day.

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that a day after the ANC’s presidential election results were announced, Mpofu had admitted publicly to “everybody who cared to listen” that he would resign, but Mpofu dismissed this as nonsense, and threatened to file a complaint with the press ombudsman.

“I have never seen this kind of journalism,” he said.

“They are making up something that never happened. I want them to produce just one person to whom I told this.”

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has criticised Mpofu, SABC head of news Snuki Zikalala and political editor Sophie Mokoena as being central to the broadcaster’s propagandist role, saying they would either have to undergo a “change of heart” or resign from the broadcaster. Cosatu is angry about the SABC’s alleged favouritism towards President Thabo Mbeki in the run-up to the ANC’s Polokwane conference.

Mpofu’s denials come in the wake of Mbeki’s appointment at the weekend of a new SABC board. The ANC’s alliance partners and the ANC youth league have greeted the appointment of the 12-member board with anger.

Cosatu wants the appointments referred back to Parliament. It says that the board is not representative of broader society.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) accuses Mbeki of acting unilaterally, ignoring opposition from the alliance.

The war of words over the appointment of the new board appears to be the first sign thatthe ANC under Jacob Zuma could hobble Mbeki’s use of his presidential powers. The saga will be the first stand-off between Mbeki and the ANC’s newly elected executive under Zuma.

Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.